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391.  Clay,  Gassius  -M.   Life 
Memoirs,  Writings,  Speeches. 
Was  a  strong  Kentucky  Union 

Man  in  Civil  'Jar.  Vol.  2 
was  never  published.   Very 
scarce.  Vol.  I  600  pp. 
Cincinnati  1SS6     •   h?75.00 


CSa-fz/  '***%< 


Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2011  with  funding  from 

The  Institute  of  Museum  and  Library  Services  through  an  Indiana  State  Library  LSTA  Grant 


http://www.archive.org/details/lifeofcassiusmarOOinclay 


THE    LIFE 


OF 


Cassius  Marcellus  Clay. 

MEMOIRS, 
WRITINGS,  AND  SPEECHES, 

SHOWING 

HIS  CONDUCT  IN  THE  OVERTHROW  OF  AMERICAN  SLAVERY, 

THE  SALVATION  OF    THE   UNION,   AND    THE 

RESTORA  TION  OF  THE  A  UTONOMY 

OF    THE    STATES. 


"Quorum — pars  fui." 


IN  TWO  VOLUMES,  WRITTEN  AND  COMPILED  BY  HIMSELF,  AND 
ILLUSTRATED    WITH    ENGRAVINGS   ON   STEEL. 


VOLUME     I 


CINCINNATI,   OHIO: 
J.    FLETCHER   BRENNAN   &   CO. 

SOLD  BY  SUBSCRIPTION  ONLY. 
1886. 


COPYRIGHT    BY 

CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY, 

1886. 


EI.ECTROTVrED    AT    THE 

FRANKLIN     TYPE     FOUNDRY, 

CINCINNATI,    O. 


PREFACE. 


Among  the  millions  of  books  which  fill  the  world,  as  the  dust 
of  summer,  or  the  leaves  of  autumn,  how  few  are  Autobiographies! 
And,  of  those  few,  how  many  are  fragmentary  —  illuminating  a  few 
promontories   only ;  whilst  the  vast   continent  of  life  remains  dark ! 

The  acts  of  the  drama  of  a  life  may  be  few,  but  the  scenes  — 
the  thoughts  —  are  infinite.  It  seems  to  be  a  law  of  nature  that 
the  memory  of  evil  is  lasting;  whilst  the  joys  of  life  are  soon  for- 
gotten. How  shall  we  solve  this  hard  problem  —  the  Spanish  apo- 
thegm—  "There  is  a  skeleton  in  every  house?" 

In  Hamlet's  soliloquies  the  partial  enumeration  of  the  ills  of  Life 
seem  sufficient  to  make  Death  tolerable,  if  not  desirable;  but  all  its 
ills  are  not  there  set  forth.  Often  have  I  heard  men  and  women 
say,  they  would  not  live  life  over  again.  And  so  published  rem^ 
iniscences  and  memoirs  are  few;  because  they  occasion  a  faint 
repetition  of  life. 

Of  these  ills,  not  mentioned  by  Shakespeare,  the  greatest  is 
Calumny,  which,  unlike  those  others,  follows  us  even  beyond  the 
gates  of  death.  It  is  often  said,  "a  lie  will  not  live  forever;" 
that  "truth  is  omnipotent,  and  public  justice  certain."  These  dicta 
may  be  very  encouraging  to  youth ;  but  to  me,  who  have  lived 
long,  and  seen  much  of  life,  they  are  very  unsafe  maxims.  For 
it  may  just  as  well  be  said  that,  "a  lie  will  travel  miles,  whilst 
truth  is  putting  on  his  boots." 

in 


IV  PREFACE. 

The  Gracci  were,  no  doubt,  patriots.  The  ruin  of  Rome  came 
of  not  following  their  advice ;  yet  the  voice  of  mankind  has  branded 
them  as  villains.  Henry  Clay  was  hounded  to  his  death  with  the 
cry  of  "bargain  and  sale,"  because  he  took  the  best  man  and  the 
best  cause  in  charge,  as  was  his  right  and  patriotic  duty.  Now, 
no  man  conceals  the  avowal  that  combinations  of  personal  ambi- 
tions for  noble  purposes  are  not  only  virtuous  but  wise.  The  mis- 
fortune of  the  Gracci,  and  of  Clay,  and  others,  including  myself, 
is,  that  those  who  attack  great  interests,  or  thwart  the  ends  of 
great  parties,   incur  immortal  hatreds. 

Those  who  follow  principles  can  not  always  remain  in  the  same 
party.  As  the  enemy  of  Slavery,  the  Democrats  hate  me;  and,  as 
the  vindicator  of  Southern  autonomy  of  the  States,  the  Republicans 
(in  the  language  of  one  writing  of  Seward's  hostility,)  held  toward 
me  "unflinching  enmity."  Of  course,  there  are  great-souled  and 
just  men  in  all  parties.  But  the  union  of  all  personal  ambitions, 
and  all  honors  and  emoluments,  in  parties,  creates  that  esprit  du 
corps  which  is  stronger  than  all  other  human  ties,  and  over-rides 
all  moral  and  religious  duties. 

Every  man  should  be  estimated,  not  by  his  personal  success  — 
the  emoluments  and  honors  of  office  —  but  by  the  triumph  of  those 
principles  which  add  to  human  happiness.  In  the  history  of  the 
world,  the  latter  only  are  remembered  with  gratitude.  The  over- 
throw of  Slavery  in  this  Nation,  in  the  judgment  of  many,  was  a 
more  important  event  than  even  American  Independence.  We 
came  out  from  monarchy  by  great  sacrifice  of  blood  and  treasure ; 
but,  in  the  course  of  human  events,  we  may  wisely  return  to  it 
again.  But  Slavery,  at  great  sacrifice,  is  abolished ;  and,  whether 
we  remain  one  nation,*  or  many  —  whether  Republic  or  Empire  — 
is  gone  forever !  Can  any  one  estimate  the  sum  of  happiness  which 
has  been  secured  to  the  human  race  by  its  death? 

So  the  restoration  of  the  autonomy  of  the  States  was  but 
another  form  of  the  great  struggle  for  the  Government  of  the 
People,  as  against  the  Divine  Right  of  Kings.  These  States, 
ruled   by  a  central    power  at  Washington,    by  means   of  patronage 


PREFACE.  V 

and  military  influence,  still  bearing  the  name  of  Republic,  would 
be  in  fact  a  corrupt  and  tyrannical  despotism,  without  the  whole- 
some checks  upon  tyranny  which  come  from  the  hereditary  de- 
scent of  the  rulers. 

In  the  light  of  these  great  events,  I  desire  to  stand  before  the 
reader,  and  receive  such  consideration  among  men  as  my  share 
in  their  triumph  shall  merit.  The  episodes  and  incidents,  and 
even  the  actors  in  this  grand  drama,  are  but  the  filling  in  of  the 
stage  scenery ;  and,  in  comparison  with  the  great  principles  deter- 
mined, are  nothing  but  "leather  and  prunella." 

C.   M.   C. 

White  Hall,   Madison  Co.,  Ky.,    1885. 


LINES    TO    C.    M.    C. 

BY  MRS.    E.   J.   EAMES. 

Brave  heart,  and  truly  noble!  that  didst  single 

From  all  Earth's  lofty  aims  the  loftiest  one, 
Pursuing  it  by  means  which  might  not  mingle 

With  views  less  generous — nobly  hast  thou  done! 
And  dared  and  striven  —  through  every  obstacle; 
And  steadfastly  resisting,   through  each  ill, 

The  Wrong  and  False.     Sure,  thou  hast  read  and  pondered 
With  highest  wisdom  on  those  words  divine  — 

"Love  one  another;"   therefore  ne'er  hath  wandered 
The  star  that  led  thy  spirit  to  the  shrine 

Of  holiest  truth!     Still  may  the  angels  have 
Their  charge  o'er  thee.      Still  (with  the  hope  sublime 

To  serve  thy  race)  mayest  thou  all  danger  brave, 
And  win  thy  way,  now,  and  through  future  time ! 

For  Truth  —  Truth  pure  and  indestructible  — 
Is  the  strong  ark  wherein  thy  safety  lies. 
Even  'midst  the  slanders  of  fierce  enemies 

Shalt  thou  be  armed  with  hero-courage  still 
T'  oppose  the  Wrong,  and  pray  God  speed  the  Right. 
Now  steadily  upon  the  wondrous  light 

Of  Freedom,  in  the  Future,  fix  thy  glance; 
Then,  animated  by  the  grandest  dream  — 

The  noblest  earthly  hope  —  still  to  advance 
(With  fearless  will)  the  Cause  that  must  redeem 

The  promise  written  on  the  Nation's  scroll  — 

The  pledge  that  in  the  Country  of  the  Free 
Men  shall  have  Equal  Rights!     Courage,  O  ardent  soul! 
Press  onward  —  onward  still!  and  thou  shalt  reach  the  goal! 


LINES    TO    C.    M.    CLAY. 

BY   JOHN    H.    BRYANT,    (BROTHER    OF    WM.    CULLEN    BRYANT.) 

Bold  champion  of  the  poor!  a  thorny  road 

Before  thse  lies ;  for  thou  hast  bared  thy  breast, 
And  nerved  thine  arm,  to  lift  the  heavy  load, 

And  break  the  chains  from  limbs  too  long  oppressed. 
Tyrants'  and  Custom's  dupes  may  strive  in  vain ; 

Truth  wields  a  weapon  mightier  far  than  they. 
Huge  bars  and  gates  of  brass  are  rent  in  twain, 

Touched  by  the  magic  of  her  peaceful  sway. 
Hold  then  thy  course,  nor  bate  a  jot  of  hope. 

Lo !  the  day  dawns  along  our  eastern  shore ; 

Soon  shall  the  night  of  prejudice  be  o'er, 
And  a  bright  morning  give  thee  freer  scope 

To  rouse  thy  countrymen  to  deeds  of  good ; 

And  just  and  peaceful  laws  shall  save  the  land  from  blood. 
Princeton,  Nov.  7,  1845. 

VI 


CONTENTS  OF  VOLUME  I. 


CHAPTER  I. 

Early  Years. — The  Clay  Family. — My  Home.— First  Fight.— My  Mother. 

Fight  against  Odds. — Boyhood. — School-mates. — My  Father. Youth. 

Educational  Career. — Slavery. —  Mary. — Sidney  Payne  Clay. Hen- 
dricks' Boy  Joe.— The  Iron  Collar.— Fight  with  George.— Education 
continued.  —  Journey  to  Cincinnati.  —  Adventure  with  Birdseye. 
"Never  tell  any  one  your  Business." — Education  continued. — St. 
Joseph's  College,  Bardstown.  —  Fight  at  St.  Joseph's.  —  Fellow- 
students,        

CHAPTER    II. 


PAGE 


17 


My  Father,  Green  Clay. — His  Character.— His  Apothegms.— His  Military 
Career. — His  Letter  to  Capt.  M.  Harrison. — His  treatment  of  his 
Challenger. —  His  fondness  for  the  Peaceful,  Innocent,  and  Good. 
His  Death. — Why  he  came  to  Kentucky. — Transylvania  University. 
Its  President  and  Professors. — Fellow-students. — I  visit  Washington 
City  and  Baltimore. — President  Andrew  Jackson. — Estimate  of  his 
Character. — John  C.  Calhoun. — Martin  Van  Buren. — Journey  North. 
John  Quincy  Adams. — George  Ticknor. — Daniel  Webster. — Prompt  to 
keep  Appointments, 37 

CHAPTER   III. 

Yale  College. — Its  President  and  Professors. — William  Lloyd  Garrison. 
His  logical  discourse  converts  me. — I  deliver  the  Washington  Cen- 
tennial Oration  of  1832. — Am  Baptized. — Christianity,  reflections 
concerning. — Class-mates. — Joseph  Longworth. — His  father,  Nicho- 
las Longworth. — American  Grapes  and  Wines.  —  Allan  Taylor  Ca- 
perton.  —  The  Lost  Love. —  Lines  Poetic. —  "Girls  and  Boys  go  a 
Hickory-nut-hunting." — A  Portrait. — Engaged, 54 

CHAPTER   IV. 

Womans'  Rights. — Death  of  Dr.  J.  P.  Declarey. — Political  Life. — Elected 
to  the  Kentucky  House  of  Representatives. — Robert  Wickliffe. — I 
speak  at  Stanford,  Lincoln  County. — Fight  with  James  C.  Sprigg. 
The   Canvass   of    1841. —  Duel  with   Wickliffe. —  Fight   with   S.    M. 

Brown,  at  Russell's  Cave, 69 

VII 


VIII  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER   V. 

FAGK 

Tried  for  Mayhem.  —  Voluntarily  defended  by  Henry  Clay  and  John 
Speed  Smith.  —  Brown's  evidence  proves  a  conspiracy  to  kill  me.  — 
Sketch  of  Henry  Clay. — A  few  sentences  from  his  Address  to  the 
Jury.  —  Declared  not  Guilty.  —  Death  of  Brown.  —  The  State  of 
Parties. — Henry  Clay  and  the  Presidential  contest  of  1844. — Daniel 
Webster  and  Henry  Clay.— The  Canvass  in  Boston. — In  New  York. — 
Result  adverse  to  H.  Clay.  —  He  unjustly  denounces  the  Abolition- 
ists.— My  Reply, '.        .     86 

CHAPTER   VI. 

"The  True  American." — Why  it  was  begun. — Employment  of  an  Editor. 
He  is  frightened  into  desertion. — The  Office  armed  to  repel  ex- 
pected Assault. — The  Committee  of  Sixty. — Co-Laborers. — James  B. 
Clay. — Letter  from  my  Mother. — Letter  from  Committee  of  Cincin- 
nati Citizens,  and  my  Reply.  —  Removal  of  Office  of  "True  Amer- 
ican" to  Cincinnati. — Episode  from  Secret  History  of  the  Southern 
Confederacy — Time    1864, 105 

CHAPTER    VII. 

The  Mexican  War. — James  S.  Jackson. — Col.  H.  Marshall. — Buffalo 
Hunting. — Comanche  Hunting  Camps. — Tigers. — Rough  Surgery. — 
Morning  Light. —  A  Snake  Story. — The  First  Shot. — A  Mule's  Sa- 
gacity.—  Lost  for  Days  on  our  Return  Trip. — K's  Despondency. — A 
Night  with  Robbers. —  My  School-mate  Desperado. — After  Tragedy 
a  Comedy. — Arrival  at  last  at  Lavaca, 117 

CHAPTER   VIII. 

General  Wool  invites  me  to  join  his  command. — Wild  Horse  and  Turkey- 
hunting. — John  U.  Waring. — Thomas  F.  Marshall. — James  S.  Jackson. 
The  march  to  Monterey,  1845. — Gen.  Z.  Taylor. — Gen.  W.  O.  Butler. 
Gallagher's  experience. — The  Mexican  hacienda. — Dr.  Solon  Bor- 
land. — Surrounded  by  3,000  Mexican  Cavalry,  our  force  of  75  sur- 
renders.— Mier. — Salao. — Escape  of  Henry. — Threatened  with  mur- 
der.— I  protest,  and  the  Mexican  commander  relents. — Recognized 
by  an  Englishman,  when  nearly  starved,  and  we  are  fed. — Mobbed 
at  Queratero,  we  escape  into  a  church, 135 

CHAPTER    IX. 

The  City  of  Mexico.  — A  friend  in  need.  — Dr.  Solon  Borland's  enmity. 
The  Water-Cure  cures  me. — Approach  of  General  Scott. — Removed 
to  Toluca,  Capital  of  the  State  of  Mexico. — Journey  thither. — 
Characteristics  of  its  People  noticed  by  Humboldt  and  Pritchard. 
Lolu. — Indian  gravity  over-rated. — Liberation  and  Return  to  City 
of  Mexico. — Exchanged,  and  leave  for  Home. — Reception  in  Lex- 
ington.—  Earthquakes, 152 


CONTENTS.  IX 

CHAPTER    X. 

PAGE 

The  Political  Situation.  —  Nomination  and  Election  of  General  Z. 
Taylor  President  of  the  United  States. — Defense  of  Henry  Clay. 
Results  of  his  Defeat. — The  Dissolution  of  Parties  in  1848. — "The 
True  American"  becomes  "The  Examiner."  —  Emancipation  Conven- 
tion in  Frankfort.  — Freedom  of  Speech. — A  Memorable  Day. — My 
conduct  in  Mexico  endorsed  by  "The  Salt  River  Tigers." — The 
New  Constitution. — Death  of  Cyrus  Turner. —  Kentucky  Constitu- 
tion passed  in  1850. — Five  Letters  to  Hon.  Daniel  Webster,     .         .  168 

CHAPTER   XI. 

"Liberty  of  Speech"  vindicated. — I  separate  from  the  Whigs. — Anti- 
Slavery  Women  :  Harriet  Beecher'  Stowe  ;  Evelyn  Woodson  ;  Lucre- 
tia  Mott. — The  prejudice  of  Color.  —  Letter  from  the  Ladies  of 
the  Ashtabula  County  (Ohio)  Anti-Slavery  Society. — Overthrow  of 
the  Whig  Party. — Canvass  for  Governor  of  Kentucky  in  185 i. — 
Berea  College.— John  J.  Crittenden. — John  C.  Breckinridge  and 
Robert  P.  Letcher.— I  save  the  Life  of  William  Willis. — W.  C.  P. 
Breckinridge, 206 

CHAPTER   XII. 

Joel  T.  Hart. — -His  letters  to  me  from  Florence,  Italy. — My  speech 
at  a  Banquet  given  him  at  Lexington,  Ky. — Hart's  "Triumph  of 
Woman." — His  death. — The  Presidential  Canvass  .of  1852. — The 
Johnsons. — The  Free-Soil  Party  of  1856. — How  I  first  met  Abra- 
ham Lincoln. — Our  further  acquaintance. — My  Correspondence 
with  Rev.  James  S.  Davis,  of  Cabin  Creek,  Ky. — Letter  to  "Rich- 
mond  Messenger." — I   speak  at  Chicago, 222 

CHAPTER   XIII. 

Origin  of  the  Republican  Party. — The  Revolutionary  Committee  of  my 
County. — My  Letter  to  the  Citizens  of  Madison  County. — Turmoil  in 
Kentucky. — Remarks  of  the  St.  Louis  "Democrat." — Another  Tri- 
umph for  Free  Speech. — Letter  to  the  Louisville  "Journal."  — 
Testimonial  to  Mrs.  C.  M.  Clay. — Interview  with  Wm.  H.  Seward. 
Resolutions  of  the  Young  Men's  Republican  Union  of  New  York. — 
President  Lincoln's  first  Cabinet. — Promised  the  Secretary  of  War 
Portfolio,  I  am  offered  the  Mission  to  Spain. — I  refuse,  but  accept 
the  Mission  to  Russia 239 

CHAPTER  XIV. 
The  Clay  Battalion. — Defense  of  Washington  City. — The  C.  M.  Clay 
Guards,  1861. — General  James  H.  Lane. — Testimonials. — Hon.  Charles 
Sumner  urges  my  acceptance  of  the  Commission  of  Major-General. 
I  decline,  and  proceed  on  my  Mission  to  Russia. — W.  R.  Henley. 
Scraps  of  History.  —  Issue  of  Veracitv  between  -B.  F.  Wade  and 
myself. — Telegram  from  the  Blairs.  —  Continued  Assaults  by  the 
Seward  faction.  —  Extracts  from  the  Newspapers  —  New  York 
"Evening  Post,"  "World,"  and  Erie  (Pa.)  "Gazette,"  indormng 
me  for  Secretary  of  War •  259 


X  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER   XV. 

PAGE 

.Leaving  Washington  ;  An  Adventure. — At  Sea. — Charles  Francis  Adams. 
British  Parliament.  —  Lord  Brougham.  —  Lord  Palmerston.  —  Mrs. 
Stowe  at  Stafford  House. — My  "'Times'  Letter."  —  J.  Lathrop 
Motley. — Letter  of  John  Bright.  —  Public  Breakfast  given  me  in 
Paris. —  Reception  by  the  Czar. —  The  Russian  Court. — L.  Q.  C.  La- 
mar.—  Diplomacy  as  a  Profession. —  Her  Imperial  Majesty,  the  Em- 
press. —Note  from  the  Princess  Radziwill,    ......  283 

CHAPTER   XVI. 

Recalled  and  Commissioned  Major-General  of  Volunteers. — Simon  Cam- 
eron and  Bayard  Taylor  succeed  me. — Return  to  Washington  City. 
Overthrow  of  the  Slave-Power  foreshadowed. — President  Lincoln's 
Letters.  —  Salmon  P.  Chase.  —  My  Washington  Speech.  —  Interview 
with  General  Halleck. — The  President  sends  me  to  Kentucky. — The 
Battle  of  Richmond,  Ky. — Prof.  Blinn's  Eulogy. — Halleck's  Special 
Order  set  aside  by  the  President.  —  I  resign  my  Major-general's 
Commission 299 

CHAPTER    XVII. 

Policy  of  Reconstruction  denounced.  —  Letter  to  Geo.  D.  Prentice  to 
that  effect. — Interview  with  Stanton.  —Letter  from  W.  W.  Sea- 
ton. — Letter  from  Stanton. —  I  meet  James  A.  Garfield.  —  Letters 
from  S.  P.  Chase.  —  Henry  Bergh  as  my  Secretary  of  Legation.  —  I 
speak,  on  invitation,  at  Albany,  New  York.  —  My  Speech,  refused 
publication  in  the  leading  newspapers,  i  publish  as  a  pamphlet. 
i  return  to  russia. — letter  from  bayard  taylor. — blsmarck. — the 
Duke  of  Montebello. —  Lord  Napier. — Nihilism. —  Alexander  II. — T. 
Morris  Chester. —  Received  a  guest  at  Gatchina  Palace. —  My  esti- 
mate of  the  Emperor,  Alexander  II. — His  Portrait. — Letters  from 
Prince  Gortchacow, 317 

CHAPTER   XVIII. 

High  Life  in  Russia.  —  Infant  Asylums  and  the  Ballet.  —  Actors  and 
Singers. — Lucca,  Patti,  and  Ristorj. — Fanny  Kemble;  her  letter. — 
Letter  of  the  Baroness  Louise  Jomini.  —  How  I  escaped  from  "De- 
vouring Dogs." — The  Military. —  Invited,  I  visit  the  Princess  Dal- 
gorouki. — Associations. — The  Clubs. — The  City  of  St.  Petersburg. 
Marriage  of  Alexander  III. — The  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia.  —  Great 
Britain's  Prince  of  Wales. — Prince  George  of  Denmark,  now  Kinc 
of  Greece. — The  Grand  Duchess  Olga. — The  White  Hall,  its  Con- 
servatory.— The  Hermitage  great  Gallery  of  Paintings,  .         .         .  341 

CHAPTER    XIX. 

Russia. —  Popular  Pastimes.  —  Ice  Mountains. —  Pretty  poor  French  for 
KiisiNEss  purposes. — The  Perkins-Claim  Swindle. — Seward  telegraphs 
me  to  press  it. — Prince  Gortchacow's  Decision.  —  M.  de  Catacazy's 
letter  to  Chief  Justice  Chase. — Catacazy's  Defense. — Seward  re- 
quests  ME   TO  RESIGN.  —  I   DO   SO   CONDITIONALLY. — THE    SENATE    REFUSES 


CONTENTS.  XI 

PAGE 

to  appoint  my  successor. — flnal  defeat  of  seward. — perkins-claim 
Swindle  revived  by  Bancroft  Davis,  under  auspices  of  the  Immortal 
Fish. — Captain  G.  B.  Fox  and  his  Mission. — John  Van  Buren. — 
Prince  Gortchacow  entertains  the  Diplomatic  Corps.  —  Admiral 
Farragut. — Count  Bergh  and  Prince  Suwarrow. — Count  Mouravieff 
Amousky.  —  Public  Dinner  given  me  at  Moscow.  —  I  make  a  Tariff 
speech. — City  of  Moscow. — William  L.  Winans. — The  Orloff  breed 
of  Horses,     .         .         .  /     .        .         , .  361 


CHAPTER    XX. 

Russian  Habits. — Religion  and  Humanity. — "Russian  Cruelties." — The 
Grand  Dukes  Constantine  and  Nicholas. — A  scene  at  the  private 
theater  of  the  Princess  DTtalie-Suwarrow. — Comparative  Courage. 
Gen.  U.  S.  GrAnt. — Letter  of  Gen.  Edward  M.  McCook. — Gen.  John 
A.  Rawlins. — How  I  lost  the  favor  of  Her  Majesty  the  Empress. 
Prince  Alexander  Dolgorouki  enlightens  me. — Her  Imperial  Maj- 
esty's   Portrait, 41S 


CHAPTER   XXI. 

Madame  Grimski  Corsikoff. — Prince  Gortchacow,  with  Portrait. — My 
estimate  of  his  fine  character. — His  letter  to  me  on  the  fall  of 
Richmond. — The  new  Union  of  the  States. — Austria's  reason  for 
disliking  the  success  of  the  Federal  arms. — Her  position  among 
the  Powers. — Reflections  on  the  eventual  condition  of  Europe. 
Destiny  of  England. — German  Beer-Gardens. — Souvenirs.  —  Photo- 
graphs,   438 


CHAPTER   XXII. 

Governor  Curtin,  of  Pennsylvania,  is  appointed  to  relieve  me.  —  I  re- 
turn Home.  —  "An  American  Diplomate."  —  Effect  of  my  Cuban 
Speech. — The  Immortal  Fish. —  Catacazy  and  the  Perkins'  Claim 
Swindle. —  General  Grant  and  the  Battle  of  Shiloh. — Bazil  Duke's 
Statement.  —  The  Autonomy  of  the  Southern  States.  —  My  Speech 
in  New  York  City  silenced  by  Custom-House  Claquers.  —  I  pay  the 
"Tribune"  for  publishing  it  correctly. — Charles  A.  Dana. — How 
the  South  was  made  "Solid," 451 


CHAPTER   XXIII. 

Hamilton  Fish,  W.  H.  Seward's  successor,  reproduces  the  latter's  False- 
hoods and  Calumnies  against  me. — On  sight  of  same  i  publish  my  re- 
sponse, with  letters  from  Russian  Notabilities  and  Dignitaries  trium- 
phantly vindicating  me.— The  Grand  Duke  Alexis  of  Russia  extends 
to  me  distinguished  honor,  at  st.  louis.  — h.  flsh  &  co.  fail  as 
conclusively  as  W.  H.  Seward  &  Co.  in  securing  my  condemnation,  463 


XII  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER   XXIV. 

PAGE 

George  W.  Julian   of  Indiana. — Men   of   Mason   County,   Kentucky,  ap- 
prove, IN   1845,  THE  SUPPRESSION  OF  THE  "  TRUE  AMERICAN." — LATER  MEN 

of  Mason  County  "Resolve"  again. — In  1848  I  propose  the  Frank- 
fort Convention. — Great  progress  made  by  1849,  AS  shown  by  fur- 
ther "Resolves"  of  Men  of  Mason  County. — I  speak  in  Maysville; 

AFTERWARD  IN  BROOKVILLE. — AM  MET  BY  \VM.  C.  MARSHALL. — HlS  TACTICS 
BEING    DEFEATED,    AS    A    POLITICIAN    HE   IS    RUINED. — PROPOSING   TO    FORM    A 

National  Party,  I  invite  G.  W.  Julian  to  assist  me. — Marshall's 
later  tactics  overcome  us,  and  we  retire. — how  his  party  supports 
Mr.  Julian 479 


CHAPTER   XXV. 

The  Greeley  Movement  inaugurated. — Invited  to  speak  in  St.  Louis,  I 
propose  Horace  Greeley  for  the  Presidency.— Gen.  Beauregard. — 
The  1872  Liberal  Republican  Convention  in  Cincinnati. — Stanley 
Matthews  and  Carl  Schurz.  —  Nomination  of  Horace  Greeley  and 
B.  Gratz  Brown.  —  Henry  Watterson.  —  Imperialism.  —  Canvass  of 
1872  and  1876. — I  visit  Mississippi. —  How  I  found  matters  political 
there. — Threatened  fight  near  Friar's  Point. — Mississippi  ejects  the 
Carpet-Baggers, - 501 


CHAPTER   XXVI. 

Election  of  R.  B.  Hayes  decided  by  the  Eight  to  Seven  vote  of  the  Jus- 
tices of  the  U.  S.  Supreme  Court. — He  ratifies  the  Autonomy  of  the 
States  by  the  withdrawal  of  U.  S.  Troops  from  the  South. — Why  I 

HAVE  HAD  TO  WRITE   THESE    MEMOIRS    MYSELF. — LETTER    FROM    HON.   JAMES 

G.  Blaine. — Letter  from  Henry  A.  Homes,  of  Albany,  N.  Y. — Let- 
ter of  Gen.  John  W.  Gordon. —  Democratic  Appreciation. —  Reform 
and  Despotism.  —  I  address  the  Kentucky  Historical  Society  at 
Frankfort. — My  Speech  on  the  Currency, 517 


CHAPTER   XXVII. 

Democratic  Nihilism.  —  Assassination  of  Adam  Butner.  —  A  fraudulent 
Election. — Assassination  of  Thomas  Peyton  by  Blacks  evidently 
employed  by  "  ku-klux." — but  one  witness  to  a  tragedy.— a  false 
Friend  robs  me  of  $10,000. — I  am  sold  out,  but  eventually  triumph 
over  my  enemies. — mrs.  clay  leaves  me  in  russia. — my  eldest  son, 
Green  Clay,  as  a  Union  Soldier. — He  is  dispossessed  of  his  home  by 
his  Mother. — I  announce  to  him  my  intention  to  apply  for  a  Di- 
vorce.— Shocked,  he  tries  to  dissuade  me. — I  give  him  my  reasons, 
cogent  and  ample. — There  being  no  legal  opposition,  the  Divorce 
is  granted.  —  Letters  from  sons,  and  daughter  Mary.  —  Life  and 
Death  of  a  Christian. — Letter  from  my  daughter-in-law,  Cornelia 
W.  Clay. — A  disagreeable  subject  sufficiently  explained,  .         .         .  531 


CONTENTS. 


XIII 


CHAPTER   XXVIII. 

PAGE 

Literature,  Ancient  and  Modern. — Opinion  of  the  works  of  Shakspeare. 
Homer's  "Iliad"  and  "Odyssey."  —  Modern  History  and  Fiction. — 
Newspaper  Literature. — Solitary  and  lonely  in  life,  I  send  for 
and  adopt  a  Son. — Launey  Clay. — My  treatment  by  successful  Re- 
publican place-men. — C.    M.   Clay  and  Elizabeth  de  Sozia  Wood. — I 

AM    PLUNDERED    ALIKE    BY   WHITES    AND    BLACKS. — My    BLACK    ATTENDANTS 
STARVE,    AND    ATTEMPT   THE    MURDER    OF    MY   ADOPTED    SON,  .  .  .    550 


CHAPTER   XXIX. 

i  stand  on  the  eternal  laws  of  self-defense. — arming  myself,  i  start 
on  a  hunt  for  new  servants.  —  death  of  perry  white.—  berea. — 
John  Gregg  Fee. — The  Higher  Law  Controversy.  —  "  Expediency." 
My  Estimate  of  John  G.  Fee. — The  Equality  of  the  Races. — Let- 
ters from  John  G.  Fee. — Letter  from  W.  C.  Bryant. — From  Hannibal 
Hamlin. — Edmund  Quincy. — John  A.  Andrew. —  Archibald  Alison. — 
Edward  Everett.  —  Thomas  W.  Evans.  —  S.  C.  Pomeroy.  —  Wendell 
Phillips. — Joshua  R.  Geddings. — Caleb  B.  Smith. — Horace  Greeley. 
Wm.  H.  Seward. —  T.  Buchanan  Read.  —  George  Bancroft. —  Eugene 
Schuyler. — Gerrit  Smith. — E.  B.  Washburne. —  James  S.  Rollins. — 
Charles  A.  Dana. — T.  F.  Bayard. —  A.  G.  Thurman.  —  My  Eulogy 
on  Wendell  Phillips. — Race  and  the  "Solid  South."  —  Reflections 
on  Social  Equality,  and  destiny  of  the  Black  Race. — End  of  Vol.  I.,  566 


LIST   OF   ENGRAVINGS. 


VOLUME    I. 


Portrait  of  Cassius  M.  Clay,  ........ 

View  of  White  Hall,  Homestead  of  the  Author,  .... 

Portrait  of  Gen.   Green  Clay,  ....... 

Portrait  of  Abraham  Lincoln,  President  of  the  United  States, 
1861-1865, 

Full-length  portrait  of  His  Majesty  Alexander  II.,  late  Emperor 
of  Russia,       ......... 

Full-length  portrait  of  Her  Majesty  Marie,  Empress  of  Alexan- 
der II.   of  Russia,  ....... 

Portrait  of  Prince  Alexander  Gortchacow,  late  Chancellor  of 
Russia,  ........•■ 


to  J 

r(fi\-  title  page. 

i  i 

"      page     18 

(t 

44 

" 

"      304 

" 

"      336 

" 

"      436 

« 

"      442 

THE   LIFE  OF 


CASSIUS  MARCELLUS  CLAY. 


i5 


MEMOIRS,  WRITINGS,  AND  SPEECHES 

OF 

CASSIUS     MARCELLUS     CLAY. 


CHAPTER  I 


Early  Years. — The  Clay  Family. — My  Home. — First  Fight. — My  Mother. — 
Fight  against  Odds. — Boyhood. — School-mates. — My  Father. — Youth. — 
Educational  Career. — Slavery.  —  Mary.  —  Sidney  Payne  Clay.  —  Hen- 
dricks' Boy  Joe. — The  Iron  Collar. — Fight  with  George. — Education 
continued.  —  Journey  t</  Cincinnati.  —  Adventure  with  Birdseye.  — 
"Never  tell  any  one  your  Business."  —  Education  continued. — St. 
Joseph's  College,  Bardstown. — Fight  at  St.  Joseph's. — Fellow-students. 


I'  WAS  born  in  Madison  County,  Kentucky,  United  States 
of  America,  October  19,  18 10,  on  the  uplands  of  Tate's 
and  Jack's  creeks,  near  the  Kentucky  River.  My  mother, 
Sally  Lewis  Clay,  was  the  daughter  of  Eliza  and  Thomas 
Lewis,  descended  from  Scotch  and  English  ancestors  — 
Douglas  being  a  family  name  to  this  day.  My  grand- 
parents had  a  large  family  of  sons  and  daughters,  of  fine 
minds  and  physique.  One  of  my  aunts  married  James 
Garrard,  Governor  of  Kentucky,  and  another  John  T. 
Johnson,  long  time  member  of  Congress,  and  the  nephew 
of  Richard  M.  Johnson,  Vice-President  of  the  United 
States.  My  great-grandfather,  Edward  Payne,  was  a 
contemporary  of  George  Washington,  and  is  honorably 
named  by  Mr.  Weems,  in  his  life  of  the  Father  of  his 
Country.  My  grand-parents  were  born  in  Virginia;  and 
lived  at  the  large  spring,  about  four  miles  north-west  from 
Lexington,  Kentucky,  till  their  death.  My  father,  Green 
Clay,  was  born  in  Powhattan  County,  Virginia,  August  14, 
1757,  and  died  October  31,   1826. 

Vol    I.— 2  17 


1 8  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

My  uncle,  Ezekiel  Clay,  was  an  Episcopalian  clergy- 
man ;  and  uncle  Matthew  Clay  was  the  contemporary  of 
Thomas  Jefferson,  often  a  member  of  Congress,  and  his 
friend.  Matthew  was  a  man  of  fine  person,  and  quite 
noted  for  his  prowess,  in  the  old  times,  when  the  old- 
fashioned  knock-down  was  deemed  more  honorable  than 
the  pistol  and  Bowie-knife.  One  of  his  daughters  was 
distinguished  for  her  beauty,  and  perished  in  the  burned 
theatre  of  Richmond,  Virginia,  which  at  the  time  created 
a  national  sensation. 

My  grandfather  was  named  Charles,  his  father  Henry, 
and  his  father  again  Charles,  who,  with  his  two  brothers, 
Henry  and  Thomas,  came  to  America  in  "the  times  of 
Queen  Elizabeth,  with  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  and  remained 
here,  each  having  received  ^10,000  from  their  father,  Sir 
John  Clay,  of  Wales."  So  says  Porter  Clay,  the  half- 
brother  of  Henry  Clay,  in  1848.  But  I  believe  I  have  the 
only  reliable  record  of  the  Clay  family  extant.  It  is  written 
on  blank  leaves  in  the  "Works  of  Samuel  Johnson,  Lon- 
don, 1713."  The  oldest  ancestor  recorded  is  Charles 
Clay  —  no  birth-date  given.* 

*"THE   CLAY    FAMILY." 

An  old  letter,  written  in  1848,  by  the  Rev.  Porter  Clay  —  then 
preaching  at  Alton,  Illinois  —  gives  the  following  facts  in  regard  to 
the  origin  of  the  Clay  family: 

LETTER    IN    SAMUEL   JOHNSON'S    BOOK. 

"Your  wishes  to  know  something  about  the  history  of  our  family  could  not  be 
gratified  in  the  limits  of  a  letter.  The  following  concise  account  must  suffice.  In 
the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  ....  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  brought  over  to 
the  Virginia    plantations,   among  others,   three    brothers,  sons  of  Sir   John    Clay,   of 

Wales,   England.     He   gave    them    ^10,000   each They  were   named 

Charles,    Thomas,    and    Henry.      They  settled    on    James    River,    near    Jamestown. 

Charles  and  Thomas  had  large  families.      Henry  had  none;  but  the  name  has  been 

handed    down    with    great    tenacity    in    both   families  ever  since.       Cassius   M.    Clay 

is  a  descendant  of  Charles  Clay;  Henry  and  myself  from  Thomas  Clay." 

Porter  and  Henry  Clay  were  the  sons  of  John  Clay,  no  doubt 
named  after  the  first  John  known  of  our  family.  I  believe  our 
families  unite  in  my  great-grandfather,  Henry  Clay,  son  of  Charles, 
son  of  John,  of  Wales. 

My  "Speeches  and  Writings,"  edited  by  Horace  Greeley,   and 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


19 


My  next  ancestor,  Henry  Clay,  oldest  son  of  Charles 
and  Mary  Mitchell,  was  born  in  1672.  The  other  de- 
scending line  is  all  regular,  down  to  my  own  birth.  It  is 
evident  that  the  Rev.  Porter  Clay  speaks  from  tradition. 
At  what  time  Henry  Clay,  the  orator  and  statesman,  enters 
this  family-tree  is  not  known.  His  father  was  John  Clay, 
and  that  is  all  I  know  about  it.  He  always  called  me 
"Cousin  Cash."  Porter  Clay  says  I  descended  from 
Charles,  of  the  three  brothers.  My  family  were  remark- 
ably long-lived  —  Henry  dying  in  his  eighty-ninth  year, 
and  my  mother  in  her  ninetieth  year.  I  take  but  little 
interest  in  these  antecedents;  but  I  can  not  but  be  a  little 
proud  that  I,  through  my  mother  and  my  Douglas  blood, 
can  claim  to  be  of  the  same  race  as  that  Gordon  who  is 
now  the  noblest  figure  in  our  times. 

I  write  in  the  house  in  which  I  was  born.  It  is  a  well- 
burned  brick  structure,  with  heavy  range  work  of  Ken- 
tucky marble  and  grey  limestone,  and  of  the  Grecian  style, 
having  three  porticos  of  imperfect  Corinthian  and  Doric 
columns.  It  was  added  to  after  1861  ;  but  the  old  build- 
ing, after  the  English  manner,  was  preserved  almost  in- 
tact. Even  at  that  day,  though  there  were  many  home- 
steads, the  original  forests  in  near  proximity  to  the  man- 
sion were  almost  unbroken  by  the  axe.  The  tulip,  walnut, 
ash,  Kentucky  coffee-bean,  beech,  and  other  magnificent 
trees,  rose  at  places  to  sixty  feet  without  a  limb,  with 
native  vines  carried  up  with  their  growth  perhaps  centu- 
ries old.  The  surface,  ever  undulating,  was  clothed  in 
the  ravines  with  the  native  cane,  twelve  feet  or  more 
high,  as  seemingly  impenetrable  as  an  East  India  jungle. 
But  most  of  the  surface  under  the  trees  was  bare,  and 
brown  with  fallen  leaves  the  year  round,  covered  with 
exquisite  wild  flowers  in  summer,  and  steady  light  snows 
in  winter.     The  plum,  the  black  haw,  the  May-apple,  the 

published  by  Harper  Brothers,  New  York,  1848,  has  grave  errors — 
as  the  manuscript  proof  was  never  revised  by  me — which  are  here 
corrected.  C.    1885. 


20  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

paw-paw,  fhe  persimmon,  the  hickory,  the  walnut,  hack- 
berries,  and  wild  grapes  were  found  in  profusion.  The 
rivulets,  in  almost  every  ravine,  were  ever  fresh  and  per- 
ennial from  the  vast  reservoir  of  the  forest  humus ;  and 
fish  were  found  in  the  very  springs,  as  they  bubbled  up 
in  never-ceasing  music ;  whilst  birds  of  every  color  and 
song,  the  chattering  squirrel,  and  the  scream  of  the  hawk, 
made  all  nature  harmonious  in  its  full  development. 

Our  family  is  the  first  of  the  human  race,  so  far  as 
we  know,  that  ever  claimed  fee  simple  in  this  soil,  as  my 
father  was  the  first  white  man  that  ever,  by  pre-occupation 
and  culture,  and  civic  title,  claimed  ownership  ;  the  natives 
never  having  assumed  proprietary  rights  in  the  "Dark 
and  Bloody  Ground,"  which  was  the  common  hunting  place 
of  all  the  tribes  of  the  now  surrounding  States. 

It  is  curious  how  far  back  the  memory  will  reach ;  and 
I  remember,  as  yesterday,  the  brilliant  buttons  and  plumes 
of  the  Kentucky  Volunteers  whom  my  father  led,  as  com- 
mander-in-chief, to  the  relief  of  Fort  Meigs,  in  Ohio,  in 
1813,  then  besieged  by  the  British  under  Proctor,  and  the 
Indians  under  Tecumseh.  General  William  Henry  Har- 
rison was  the  Federal  commander  of  all  the  regular 
forces   and  the  volunteer  militia. 

As  my  physical  courage  and  training  greatly  aided  the 
higher  moral  courage  which  my  political  life  demanded,  I 
have  concluded  to  give  an  account  of  all  my  personal  en- 
counters from  boyhood.  I  am  a  believer  in  bloods,  not  in 
the  sense  of  aristocratic  or  plebeian  bloods,  but  in  natural 
organization :  so  moral  or  physical  traits  are  aggregated  in 
families.  The  first  hewn  log-house  in  the  county  was  built 
by  my  father ;  arid,  when  the  family  moved  into  the  brick 
mansion,  which  was  also  the  first  of  that  class,  the  over- 
seer, Covington,  dwelt  in  the  old  house  in  the  border  of 
the  yard. 

It  was  with  Covington's  son  that  I  had  the  first  fight. 
I  don't  remember  the  cause  of  the  quarrel,  but  I  mastered 
him,  and  gave  him  a  terribly-scratched  face.      His  mother 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  21 

complained  to  mine,  and,  when  I  came  to  the  house,  she, 
following  Solomon's  advice,  had  ready  a  peach-tree  "rod," 
and  I  bear  testimony  that  she  did  not  "spare"  it. 

At  another  time,  'tis  said,  I  told  a  "story" — as  the  lie 
is  thus  often  charitably  clothed  in  velvet  vestments.  She 
ordered  me  sternly  to  come  to  her;  but,  as  I  had  once 
tested  her  mettle,  I  was  more  inclined  to  take,  as  Gobbo, 
"to  my  heels,"  and  I  ran.  She  was  not  a  woman  to  be 
trifled  with ;  and  was  not  one  of  those  sentimental  creat- 
ures who  sit  all  day  with  a  recalcitrant,  "toddling  thing," 
lecturing  it  upon  the  reasons  why  it  should  obey  the 
mother,  and  not  the  mother  obey  the  child.  So  she  made 
chase ;  and  all  the  house-servants,  and  all  the  kitchen- 
servants  joined  in  the  pursuit.  Finding  that  I  would  be 
overtaken,  I  concluded  to  fight.  There  was  a  pile  of 
stone-siftings,  left  over  from  an  out-building  of  consider- 
able size,  upon  which  I  took  my  stand,  and  made  things 
lively  —  throwing  never  in  sham,  firing  no  blank  cartridges, 
hitting  hard.  For,  as  I  had  been  whipped  for  fighting,  now 
I  fought  not  to  be  whipped.  So  the  dear  old  mother  had 
to  come  herself.  Thank  God,  I  never  in  childhood  even 
raised  my  hand  or  turned  my  heart  against  her.  So  I  sur- 
rendered. This  was  my  second  whipping,  and  the  last; 
for  when  I  found  escape  neither  in  running  nor  in  fight- 
ing, I  ever  after  submitted  with  sublime  philosophy  to  the 
inevitable. 

My  mother  was  a  Calvinist  in  faith,  and,  though  not  be- 
lieving in  good  works  as  the  ground  of  salvation,  yet  was 
the  most  Christian-like  and  pious  of  women  in  every  word 
and  thought.  With  her,  truth  was  the  basis  of  all  moral 
character.  She  would  not  tolerate  even  conventional  lies, 
never  saying,  "Not  at  home"  to  callers;  but,  to  the  serv- 
ants, "  Beg-  them  to  excuse  me."  And  was  she  not  right? 
Let  the  wisdom  of  all  ages  decide.  This  it  was,  when  I 
was  asked,  in  order  to  corner  me,  if  slavery  was  not  a 
good  and  Christian  institution?  —  considering  all   the  con- 


2  2  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

sequences,  remembering  her  who  had  given  me  life  and 
principles  to  live  or  die  by  —  that  led  me  to  answer  No! 

My  father  was  a  stern  man,  absorbed  in  affairs.  He 
spent  but  little  time  with  the  children,  and  did  not  assume 
control.  Yet  he  directed,  in  the  main,  what  was  to  be 
done;  and,  when  the  time  had  come,  he  sent  me  to  school 
with  my  next  older  brother,  Brutus  J.  Clay,  much  to  the 
regret,  it  seemed  to  me,  of  my  mother ;  for  I  was  the  Ben- 
jamin of  the  family.  Through  the  forest  then,  over  rivu- 
lets, flushing  the  birds,  cropping  the  wild  flowers,  gather- 
ing the  May-apples,  with  book-satchel  slung  over  my 
shoulders,  and  the  lunch-basket  carried  by  turns  with  my 
brother,  I  set  out.  At  length,  in  less  than  a  mile,  we 
came  to  the  common  school  —  a  log  cabin  unchinked  — 
under  a  beech  forest,  near  the  spring  and  rivulets  which 
meet  near  by,  forming  Tate's  creek.  The  stones  of  the 
chimney  yet  lie  there,  half  covered  with  blue-grass,  but  the 
trees  are  gone ! 

But  chimnies  were  of  little  use,  as  it  was  mostly  in 
summer  that  the  children  from  families  far  apart  went  to 
school.  I  well  remember  the  great  pleasure  with  which, 
in  childhood,  I  took  off  the  hated  shoes  and  socks,  and 
waded  barefooted  in  the  rain-puddles  and  rivulets.  The 
large  scholars  were  held  to  their  books ;  but,  laying  mine 
down  on  one  of  the  rude  benches,  I  went  into  the  water 
running  over  the  bright  pebbles,  and  amused  myself  by 
catching  the  small  minnows,  which,  at  this  season,  swarmed 
upon  the  clear  shallows.  So  I  was  employed  day  after 
day ;  and  the  good  mother  again  and  again  filled  the 
lunch-basket  with  nice  things,  and  topped  them  off  with 
the  ABC  mystery.  The  neighboring  girls  were  also  in 
primitive  stockings,  and  were  not  averse  from  wading  also 
in  the  cool  waters  at  play-time,  and  hunting  and  digging 
the  wild  turkey-peas  and  ginseng. 

In  this  near  association  I  had  fallen  in  love!  —  Platonic, 

f  course.     There  was  a  nearly-grown  girl  named  C.  B — n, 

mid  another  called  R.  C — s.     Now,  when  the  dominie  saw 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  23 

the  bad  example  I  was  setting,  he  determined  to  reduce  me 
to  submission ;  so,  when  I  set  out,  as  usual,  for  the  branch, 
and  I  not  obeying,  he  followed  me,  as  did  all  the  school. 
But,  taking  in  the  situation,  as  the  teacher  was  the  only 
one  who  had  on  shoes,  I  took  position  in  the  deepest  pool, 
where  he  could  not  reach  me  with  his  long  beech-rod,  and, 
as  the  girls  happened  to  be  the  largest,  he  ordered  Miss 
C — s  to  bring  me  out.  But,  as  she  advanced,  I  seized  a 
stone  and  struck  her  with  great  violence,  nearly  severing 
her  big  toe  from  the  foot.  In  the  confusion,  I  was  forgot- 
ten; and,  C.  B — n  coming  to  me,  begged  me  to  come  out, 
which  I  at  once  did ;  and  without  ceremony  set  out  for 
home.     Now,  was  I  not  in  love? 

Some  structures  are  like  a  wooden  log,  you  can't  get  a 
responsive  sound  with  a  hammer;  whilst  others  are  so 
finely  strung,  like  the  famous  Cremonas,  that  the  slightest 
wave  of  air  will  wake  them  into  melody.  Yes,  I  was  in 
love !  This  broke  up  the  school-business  ;  and  my  mother, 
being  told  of  the  tragedy,  was  about  to  flog  me  once  more, 
but  my  father  assumed  command,  and  I  was  dismissed 
(with  a  suppressed  smile)  to  my  usual  quarters. 

Such  was  my  early  life,  and  it  leaves  the  question  yet 
undecided :  are  the  tendencies  of  our  life  from  nature, 
or  from  education?  Or,  rather,  are  they  not  from  both? 
At  all  events,  the  mother,  being  both  parent  and  teacher, 
mostly  forms  the  character.  But  I  leave  this  an  open 
question  for  others  to  decide ;  as  many  will,  no  doubt,  with 
M.  C.  J.,  of  Lexington,  Kentucky,  hold  that  "God  Al- 
mighty made  the  noble  and  the  ignoble  of  the  same  clay;" 
but  was  sure  "the  first  class  was  made  out  of  the  fine 
clay,  whilst  the  second  was  made  of  the  gravel  and  refuse 
which  remained." 

So  far  as  memory  goes,  the  most  of  my  youth  seems 
but  as  a  dark  night,  with  here  and  there  a  light  set ;  so 
there  remains  but  a  few  events.  I  saw  but  little  of  my 
father;  he  was  nearly  always  absent,  and  when  at  home 
was  engaged  in  business.      But  one   incident  reminds   me 


24  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

how  much  those  who  rule  children  should  remember  that 
example  is  more  potent  than  precept.  My  father  had  an 
old  Virginia  military  wine-chest,  holding  about  a  half 
dozen  cups  or  glasses,  and  as  many  bottles  of  liquors, 
mostly  of  domestic  make.  These  bottles  were  English, 
square,  of  very  thin  glass,  and  very  finely  inlaid  with 
gold-leaf.  To  prevent  the  breakage  by  awkward  serv- 
ants, he  would  not  allow  any  one  but  himself  to  touch 
them.  But,  in  the  morning,  having  a  bottle  of  native 
"  Bourbon,"  filled  with  camomile-flowers,  which,  being  bit- 
ter, were  used  very  generally  as  a  tonic  before  breakfast, 
he  would  take  out  the  bottle,  fill  his  mouth  with  the 
hateful  liquid,  and,  having  swallowed  it,  make  a  rueful 
face  at  the  boys ;  but  he  would  drink  no  more  that  day. 
He  never  would  allow  us  to  use  cards  or  taste  liquor. 

I  watched  him  a  long  time,  not  having  it  clear  to  my 
mind  that  if  it  was  good  for  papa,  it  was  not  good 
for  us.  At  length,  one  morning,  when  he  had  made  his 
usual  libation,  and  discharged  a  painful  duty  with  heroism, 
as  shown  by  his  countenance  of  silent  suffering,  I  thought 
to  myself,  now,  if  it  is  so  bitter,  why  do  you  take  it?  So 
I  '11  see.  And,  taking  up  the  bottle,  and  pouring  out  a 
portion,  I  found  it  very  far  from  bitter;  though,  fortunately 
for  me,  the  Bourbon  itself  was  not  fascinating,  but  the 
bitter  was  all  gone,  and  the  camomile  was  but  a  sham. 

Having  gone  to  four  common  (voluntary)  schools,  as 
before  described,  and  then  to  the  Richmond  Academy,  our 
father  sent  Brutus  J.  and  myself  to  the  home  of  Joshua 
Fry,  a  celebrated  teacher,  who,  having  made  a  fortune, 
still,  by  the  force  of  habit  —  living  on  a  fine  farm  on  the 
banks  of  Dix  River,  in  Garrard  County,  Kentucky  — 
taught  a  few  scholars  and  his  grand-children  for  his 
amusement.  Whilst  there,  among  others  who  reached 
distinction  in  the  world,  was  the  Congressman,  W.  J. 
Graves  who  killed  Cilley,  in  the  celebrated  duel  between 
the  champions  of  the  North  and  the  South.  Mr.  Fry  was 
a  teacher  of  Latin   as   a   specialty.      Among   the   scholars 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  25 

was  a  beautiful  young  girl  of  about  my  own  age,  L.  F ; 

and  as,  in  the  first  joint  education  of  the  sexes,  there  was 
war,  so  now,  by  the  occurrence  of  contrasts,  there  was 
peace.  She  inspired  me  to  rivalry  and  study,  and  I 
soon  surpassed  her,  and  mastered  the  Latin  language  as 
I  never  did  any  other  language;  and,  although  my  after 
life  never  allowed  me  much  leisure  for  its  use,  I  am  a 
good  Latinist  to  this  day.  Never  having  studied  English 
Grammar  at  all,  at  any  time,  I  think  I  would  hardly  be 
classified,  in  that  respect,  with  Burns's  scholars  in  regard 
to  my  own  tongue:  —  "What's  'a  the  learning  of  the 
schools?"   etc.     Yet  my  readers  will  judge. 

In  the  meantime,  my  father  being  the  largest  slave- 
owner in  the  State,  I  early  began  to  study  the  system, 
or,  rather,  began  to  feel  its  wrongs.  Whilst  I  was  yet 
a  boy,  my  sister  Eliza  being  very  fond  of  flowers  and 
their  culture,  I  had  my  miniature  garden  also ;  with  great 
delight  living  close  to  nature,  and  feeling  that  serenity 
and  passive  happiness  which  she  always  lavishes  upon 
those  who  love  her.  One  day,  whilst  absorbed  in  my 
favorite  pastime,  I  heard  a  scream,  and,  looking  up, 
what  was  my  horror  to  see  Mary  coming  into  the  yard 
with  a  butcher's  knife,  and  her  clothes  all  bloody!  All 
the  servants,  from  every  cabin,  big  and  little,  ran  wildly 
around  in  tears,  with  exclamations  of  grief  and  terror. 

Who  was  Mary?  A  handsome  mulatto  girl,  of  about 
eighteen  years  of  age,  who  had  been  engaged  years  ago 
as  one  of  the  flower-gardeners.  She  was  a  fine  speci- 
men of  a  mixed  breed,  rather  light  colored,  showing  the 
blood  in  her  cheeks,  with  hair  wavy,  as  in  the  case  with 
mixed  whites  and  blacks.  Her  features  were  finely  cut, 
quite  Caucasian ;  whilst  her  eyes  were  large,  black,  lan- 
guid, and  unconscious,  except  when  some  passion  stirred 
the  fires  of  her  African  blood,  when  they  flashed  as  the 
lightning  through  a  cloud.  It  was  Mary  who  had  assisted 
in   laying    out    my  garden.      A    peach-tree,    then    planted 


26  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

by   me,    was    in    full    bearing    long    after    I    was    married, 
being  more  than  a  foot  in  diameter. 

After  some  years  she  was  sent  to  the  house  of  an 
overseer,  at  one  of  the  separate  plantations,  to  cook  for 
the  whites,  the  "hands"  and  the  overseer,  his  wife,  and  two 
or  three  grown  daughters.  Mary  was  very  bloody,  but 
not  hurt.  Payne,  for  that  was  his  name,  was  a  drunkard ; 
and,  returning  home  after  sprees,  made  it  his  custom  to 
abuse  Mary  by  words,  which  was  not  submitted  to  in  those 
days  by  any  slaves,  when  coming  from  "poor  white  trash," 
as  they  called  the  non-slave-holders ;  and  so  she  in  turn 
used  a  woman's  tongue  in  such  a  way  as  to  arouse  the 
anger  of  the  whole  family.  Mary  was  sent  into  the  kitchen 
or  elsewhere,  whilst  the  family,  having  made  all  preparations 
to  bar  up  the  doors,  prepared  to  punish  the  woman  severely, 
and,  as  the  jury  afterward  decided,  to  kill  her.  They  called 
her  in,  and  sent  her  up  stairs  to  shell  the  seed-corn  for 
planting.  All  the  field-hands  were  out  at  work.  But  Mary, 
suspecting  mischief,  knowing  Payne's  temper,  secreted  a 
butcher's  knife  in  her  bosom,  and  went  sullenly  to  her  work. 
As  she  anticipated,  they  soon  came  up  and  all  attacked  her. 
She  attempted  to  run  down  stairs,  and  out  of  the  house ; 
but,  finding  the  door  securely  fastened,  she  turned  upon 
them  and  slew  Payne,  and  at  length  succeeded  in  making 
her  escape.  She  came  home  to  the  family.  The  whole 
community  was  in  arms,  and  Mary  taken  to  jail  in  a  few 
hours.  But  my  father  being  a  man  of  fortune,  and  a  "long 
head,"  Mary  was  finally  acquitted  and  set  free. 

Sidney  Payne  Clay,  our  oldest  brother,  who  had  been 
educated  at  Princeton  College,  New  Jersey,  and  had  re- 
turned home,  was  an  emancipationist  as  well  as  a  Presby- 
terian. By  my  father's  will  he  was  appointed  chief  ex- 
ecutor. As  was  the  custom  in  all  the  border  slave  States, 
Mary  was,  by  his  will,  ordered  to  be  sent  South,  I  suppose 
to  make  murder  odious.  Now,  the  most  astonishing  feature 
of  the  slave-system  was  the  delusion  that,  as  it  was  legal, 
it   was  morally  right ;   whilst   all   the  sentiments  of  the  soul 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS  CLAY.  2J 

and  the  force  of  the  mind  proclaimed  it  wrong.  For  "the 
greatest  of  all  rights,"  said  the  eloquent  Robert  J.  Breckin- 
ridge, "is  the  right  of  a  man  to  himself."  This  docjrine, 
joined  to  some  passing  remarks  in  the  Bible,  written  in  an 
age  when  slavery  was  the  result  of  a  common  barbarism, 
confused  the  strongest  intellect,  and  led  to  the  most  con- 
flicting results.  Never  shall  I  forget  — and  through  all 
these  years  it  rests  upon  the  memory  as  the  stamp  upon 
a  bright  coin  —  the  scene,  when  Mary  was  tied  by  the 
wrists  and  sent  from  home  and  friends,  and  the  loved 
features  of  her  native  land  —  the*  home  of  her  infancy  and 
girlish  days  —  into  Southern  banishment  forever;  and  yet 
held  guiltless  by  a  jury  of,  not  her  "peers,"  but  her  op- 
pressors! Never  shall  I  forget  those  two  faces  —  of  my 
brother  and  Mary  —  the  oppressor  and  the  oppressed,  rigid 
with  equal  agony!  She  cast  an  imploring  look  at  me,  as 
if  in  appeal;  but  meekly  went,  without  a  word,  as  "a  sheep 
to  the  slaughter." 

One  more  tale  of  the  "Lost  Cause,"  and  I  close  this 
sad  record.  About  1 8 10-15,  my  father,  having  succeeded 
in  a  land-suit  against  a  neighbor  named  Hendricks,  the 
angry  master  sent  his  slave  Joe  to  burn  our  dwelling ;  but 
Joe,  driven  back  by  the  watch-dogs,  went  to  a  large  barn 
filled  with  hay  and  grain  and  set  fire  to  that,  in  the  hope 
of  averting  the  anger  of  his  master,  which  he  had  too  much 
reason  to  dread.  The  barn  made  such  a  light  that  the  poor 
fellow  was  terrified,  and  stood  looking  wildly  at  the  flames, 
when  he  was  seen  and  caught.  On  being  questioned,  he 
confessed  the  whole  story.  Now,  by  the  laws  of  the  "  Lost 
Cause,"  in  no  crime  against  the  master  could  a  slave  be  a 
witness.  But  the  public  opinion  was  all  the  same.  Hen- 
dricks and  sons,  having  put  an  iron  collar  on  Joe  with  a 
bell,  and  moving  to  the  banks  of  Station-Camp  Creek,  in 
now  Estill  County,  then  a  remote  and  sparsely  populated 
country,  are  said  to  have  whipped  Joe  three  successive 
days;  and  ^finally,  when  he  died  under  the -lash,  they  tied 
a    large    stone    to    his    neck,    and    sank    him    in    that    deep 


26  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

stream.  But  the  stone,  heavy  enough  to  sink  the  fresh 
body,  was  too  light  when  the  gases  of  decomposition  were 
generated,  and  Joe's  mortal  remains  arose  to  the  surface, 
and  revealed  the  secrets  of  the  prison-house  to  the  world. 
But  what  of  that?  Slavery,  like  necessity,  knows  no  law. 
But  the  Hendricks'  family  were  driven,  by  the  irrepressible 
instincts  of  the  human  soul,  into  exile ;  and  they  went  West, 
where  the  memory  of  the  crime  and  the  criminal  was  lost. 

In  early  times,  the  use  of  an  iron  collar  was  to  prevent 
the  slave  from  running  off.  The  collar  on  Joe  had  a  bell 
on  it,  so  that  every  one  could  see  or  hear  it ;  and,  the  col- 
lar being  riveted  on  at  a  smith's  shop,  could  not  be  taken 
from  the  runaway's  neck  without  great  danger  of  discovery. 
Nothing  shows  the  degradation  of  the  "Lost  Cause"  more 
than  this  custom,  which  was  generally  abandoned  before 
my  time.  Yet  in  Lexington,  in  1845,  whilst  I  edited  the 
True  American,  hearing  one  night  some  disturbance  in  my 
hen-house,  I  seized  my  pistol,  and  went  out  to  see  the 
cause.  To  my  surprise,  a  negro  man  had  both  hands  full 
of  chickens.  He  belonged  to  a  "mild-mannered  man"  of 
my  acquaintance,  who  ran  a  hemp  factory.  The  man  said, 
in  reply  to  my  questions,  that  he  was  poorly  fed,  and 
that  he  ought  to  help  himself  to  better  fare.  I  told  him, 
with  some  indignation,  that  he  ought  not  to  come  to  me, 
who  was  the  friend  of  his  race,  to  rob.  To  which  he  re- 
plied:  "Mars'  Cash,  I  did  not  think  you  would  hurt  me." 
This  reasoning  was  not  at  all  satisfactory ;  but  the  low 
moon  cast  a  few  rays  through  the  trees,  and  I  saw  the 
bright  prongs  of  a  steel  collar  as  long,  on  each  side  of  his 
neck,  as  the  horns  of  a  Texas  steer.  My  rage,  which  was 
at  first  almost  deadly  —  standing  with  pistol  in  hand  —  was 
turned  into  pity ;  and  I  let  the  poor  fellow  go  with  all  the 
chickens.  Was  I  not  also  politically  guilty  ?  This  nerved 
me  to  a  more  deadly  warfare  against  the  "  Lost  Cause." 

When  I  was  yet  a  boy,  I  had  a  playmate  of  about  my 
own  age  —  a  fine  fellow,  as  straight  as  an  Indian,  and  as 
black   as  a  crow,  with   large   dark   eyes,  and   large   whites 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  29 

around  them.  He  was  bigger  than  myself,  and  not  want- 
ing in  courage  —  the  black  race  is  not  so  wanting.  The 
hands  and  other  members  of  the  body  are  moved  through 
the  nerves  by  the  central  seat  of  intelligence  —  the  brain. 
Now,  it  takes  time  for  the  will  to  communicate  with  the 
hands  and  feet.  In  a  fight,  time  is  not  everything,  but  it 
is  a  great  factor.  In  the  negro  race  this  nervous  move- 
ment is  slower  than  in  the  white;  in  other  words,  the  in- 
tellect and  body  are  quicker  in  the  white  races.  Hence 
the  French,  when  other  things  are  equal,  are  the  first  fight- 
ing people  among  the  nations. 

But  other  qualities,  as  heroism,  fortitude,  and  all  that, 
enter  into  the  battles  of  nations;  and  in  these  last  I  think 
the  English,  Germans  and  Russians  are  superior  to  the 
French,  whilst  the  Americans  have  all  the  best  qualities 
of  the  English,  with  more  intellectual  quickness.  So  we 
have  nothing  to  fear  in  battle  with  any  nation.  Now,  as 
early  in  life  as  my  fight  with  George,  I  began  to  appreciate 
the  situation.  I  offended  George,  who  said:  "Mars'  Cash', 
you  would  not  treat  me  so,  if  you  had  not  marster  and 
mistress  to  back  you."  "Well,"  said  I,  "George,  I  can 
whip  you  myself."  "If  you  won't  tell,  we'll  see."  "All 
right,"  said  I.  Now,  the  forests  on  one  side  of  our  yard 
were  unbroken.  My  father  allowed  no  one  to  touch  them. 
So  George  and  I  went  alone  into  the  near  woods ;  and,  as 
the  boughs  hung  low  near  the  light,  were  soon  out  of  sight 
of  all  the  family,  white  and  black.  I  was,  of  course,  ex- 
cited, and  in  the  lead.  George  was  evidently  my  over- 
match in  size  and  strength,  so  I  thought  of  stratagem.  I 
selected  the  ground.  The  grey  limestone,  fine  for  build- 
ing, lies  near  the  surface.  Here  was  a  steep  descent  to- 
ward the  Kentucky  River,  and  the  stone  being  taken  out 
in  horizontal  layers,  left  a  nice  level  bench,  now  covered 
with  moss  and  dry  leaves.  So  I  took  my  place  near  the 
declension,  leaving  space  for  George  to  take  his  stand  on 
the  level  land,  with  my  face  toward  the  ravine.  Striking 
George  the  first  blow,  I  sent  him  staggering  down  the  hill; 


30  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

and  then  advancing  to  the  very  edge  of  the  plat,  I  was 
taller  than  he,  and  had  all  advantages,  as  he  had  to  labor 
up  the  hill  when  struck,  and  I  had  time  to  blow.  Of 
course,  I  was  triumphant,  and  George  asked  for  quarters, 
and  admitted  himself  beaten.  We  ever  kept  our  secret. 
George  never  saw  the  unfairness  of  my  position ;  nor  was 
I  bound  to  advise  him,  because  I  considered  that  if  I  gave 
him  a  fair  use  of  his  mind  and  body,  it  was  a  fair  fight ; 
and  it  was,  in  the  broadest  sense.  The  Democrats  and 
the  Republicans  may  both  study  this  episode  with  advan- 
tage, in  running  the  Republic  with  so  large  a  black  popu- 
lation. This  fight  with  an  African  was  one  of  those  instru- 
mental influences  by  which  Deity  shapes  the  ends  of  life. 
George's  courage  won  my  respect,  and  his  sad  expression 
of  defeat  excited  my  sympathy ;  for  he  had  one  of  those 
faces  which  in  the  blacks  at  times  are  so  expressive  of  all 
the  sentiments ;  and  which,  yet  unmarked  by  crime,  and 
undegraded  by  conscious  servitude,  at  times  so  interest  the 
observer.  I  had  settled  the  question  of  personal  supremacy 
with  George ;  but  back  of  that  remained  that  great  problem 
of  my  life :  why  should  master  and  mistress  claim  the  power 
of  appeal  and  redecision?  Let  the  advocates  of  the  "Lost 
Cause"  answer. 

These  incidents  are  as  fresh  on  my  mind  as  if  they  were 
of  yesterday.  On  this  plateau,  in  the  deep  shade,  was  built 
a  cabin  in  which  the  freedmen  of  my  father  only  dwelt.  The 
log  hut  has  perished,  but  the  ruins  of  the  stone-chimney  re- 
main ;  and  the  ledge  is  yet  marked  by  a  magnificent  oak. 
The  appeal  of  George  was  to  a  higher  court  than  my  parents 
filled,  and  thg  omnipotent  God  decided  in  his  favor.  Infini- 
tesimal and  obscure,  he  was  still  one  of  the  factors  in  human 
progress,  and  his  battle  in  reality  was  not  "lost!"  Thus, 
as  in  the  Cosmos,  every  ounce  of  matter  forms  the  attrac- 
tion of  the  whole,  so  every  truth  and  every  noble  aspiration 
make  the  sum  of  the  moral  and  intellectual  world,  on  which 
the  happiness  of  mankind  depends. 

The   farm   of  Joshua   Fry,  as   I   said,  came   to   the   very 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  3 1 

banks  of  Dix  River.  In  places  on  this  peculiar  stream  there 
are  no  hills.  In  early  times  the  limestone  rock  seems  to 
have  been  cleft  asunder,  allowing  the  waters  from  above  to 
pass  on,  and  in  time  wearing  a  deep  channel  through  solid 
rock  banks,  with  very  narrow  alluvial  bottoms  first  on  one 
side  and  then  on  the  other,  as  the  turns  of  the  river  left  the 
deposit  of  the  reduced  strata.  Occasionally  a  great  bowlder 
of  limestone  was  precipitated  into  the  rushing  stream,  causing 
deep  eddies,  where  the  bass,  perch  and  other  varieties  of 
fish  found  secure  shelter  and  feeding-grounds.  Never  was 
there  a  finer  display  of  nature,  on  a  scale  not  grand  as 
some,  but  as  picturesque  as  any  to  be  found.  The  trees 
overhung  the  jutting  cliffs ;  flowers  and  vines  covered  all 
surfaces ;  and  fish  could  be  seen,  as  well  as  caught,  ever 
gambolling  on  the  crystal  riffles,  and  in  the  rock-bound 
depths  of  the  river.  The  red  birds  and  many-colored 
orioles  and  thrushes  were  in  great  numbers,  as  well  as 
many  other  birds  of  brilliant  plumage  and  melodious  song. 
Here  I  alone  spent  most  of  my  leisure  hours,  fishing  and 
enjoying  the  loveliness  of  nature.  I  deem  it  fortunate  in 
my  life  that  I  was  thrown  so  often  in  close  contact  with 
mother  earth,  from  whom  we  gain  not  only  pleasure  but 
strength.  For  here  the  body  and  soul  are  made  robust 
for  the  great  trials  of  life ;  and  an  apt  fable  was  it  that 
made  the  giants  of  old  the  children  of  the  earth,  who, 
when  thrown  down,  arose  again  with  new  force  for  the 
combat.  Hence  come  the  great  characters  of  history ;  and 
from  here  the  perishing  cities  renew  their  population. 

When  I  was  about  twelve  or  thirteen  years  of  age, 
during  a  school  vacation,  my  father  sent  me  to  Cincinnati, 
Ohio,  to  pay  taxes  upon  some  lands  which  he  owned  in 
that  State.  This  city  was  about  one  hundred  miles  away ; 
with  no  railroads  then,  nor  stage-routes  even.  The  only 
means  of  travel  was  on  horseback ;  and  along  the  ridge- 
road,  as  it  was  called,  there  were  inns,  where  travellers 
were  entertained.  Being  fully  equipped  with  saddle-bags, 
and  with  my  money  sewed  up  in  some  part  of  my  clothing, 


$2  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

with  only  enough  left  accessible  to  pay  way-expenses,  I  set 
out  with  a  rather  heavy  heart.  In  those  times,  when  city 
robberies  were  little  known,  desperadoes,  driven  by  crime 
from  the  East,  took  refuge  on  the  frontiers  of  civilization, 
and  committed  frequent  assaults  upon  travelers,  and  appro- 
priated their  money.  These  were  not  pleasant  memories 
to  me ;  but,  as  I  entered  the  sparsely-settled  forests,  full 
of  birds  and  squirrels,  and  occasional  wild  fruits,  as  plums 
and  grapes,  I  began  to  feel  more  at  home,  and,  on  the 
whole,  enjoyed  my  journey.  I  traveled  about  thirty  miles 
a  day,  and  reached  Cincinnati  on  the  third  day,  in  the  late 
afternoon.  About  1812  Fulton  introduced  steam-boats  on 
the  Ohio;  but  at  this  time,  about  1823,  the  flat-boats  and 
barges  were  the  main  means  of  commerce,  and  a  few  hind- 
wheel  steamboats  made  the  trips  at  long  intervals  up  the 
river  to  Wheeling  and  Pittsburg,  and  down  to  New  Orleans. 
I  don  't  remember  any  houses  where  Covington  and  New- 
port now  are ;  and  Cincinnati  hardly  reached  above  Second 
Street,  parallel  with  the  Ohio  River.  The  principal  build- 
ings were  on  the  street  perpendicular  to  the  upper  river- 
wharf,  on  the  right  of  which  was  the  hotel.  There  were 
few  brick  buildings,  and  on  Second  and  Third  Streets  the 
houses  were  low  and  scattering,  with  small  yards  in  front. 
Having  taken  my  supper,  I  came  down  into  the  sitting- 
room,  in  which  at  those  times  was  also  the  liquor-bar. 
Here  men  assembled  around  a  huge  coal  fire,  a  .  mixed 
mass  of  travelers  and  boatmen  from  all  the  river-crafts 
spending  the  Sunday  evening.  One  rather  sinister-looking 
man,  with  small,  sharp  grey  eyes,  and  high  Roman  nose, 
drew  up  his  chair,  and  began  to  question  me  about  my 
journey,  whence  I  came  and  where  I  was  going.  With 
some  reticence  I  told  him  the  main  facts.  He  then  invited 
me  to  go  with  him  to  church,  to  which  I  assented,  inquiring 
his  name.  He  told  me  it  was  "  Birdseye."  This  was  a 
curious  and  unknown  name  to  me,  and  at  once  excited  my 
suspicions  about  his  character,  as  it  seemed  assumed.  How- 
ever, I  went  with  him  to  church.     I  watched  him  during  the 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  33 

ceremonies  slyly,  and  found  he  showed  no  reverence  what- 
ever, looking  about  him  and  the  audience.     As  we  returned, 
he  stopped  opposite  a  small  framed  house,  rather,  isolated, 
with  two  rooms.     Without  ceremony,  he  said  he  wished  to 
see  a  friend  a  moment  on  business,  and  would  go  on  with 
me  in  a  minute,  and  invited  me  in.     I  went  in.     There  was 
no  light  in  the  first  room,  and  in  the  second  was  a  dim  dip- 
candle  burning,  and  a  man,  whom  my  friend  asked  out  into 
the  back-yard.     My  suspicions  were  aroused.     I  was  to  be 
robbed,  and  perhaps  murdered.      Why  should  they  go  out 
of  the  house  to  talk?      So   I   at  once  passed  out  into  the 
street,  with  a  steady  march  for  my  hotel.     My  friend  over- 
took me  at  a  few  paces  from  the  door,  and  continued  his 
walk  with  me,  nothing  being  said  by  either  party  in  expla- 
nation.    In  the  meantime,  I  had  taken  out  my  pocket-knife, 
opened  the  largest  blade,  and  put  it  up  my  sleeve,  keeping 
my  friend  on  my  side,  and  never  allowing  him  to  fall  behind 
me.     As  he  passed  a  small  alley,  he  said,  suiting  the  action 
to  the  word,  and  turning  in  himself:   "This  way  is  the  near- 
est route  to  the  hotel."     There  were  but  few  lights  shining 
from  the  houses,  and  most  of  the  church-goers  and  citizens 
had  disappeared   from  the   streets.      Now,   I   was  raised   in 
the  woods,  and  was  well  posted  as  to  place;  and  I  knew 
that,  so  far  from  that  route  being  nearest,  it  led  me  into  the 
street  parallel  to  the  one  where  I  had  lodged,  and  that  I 
would   have   to  go  to   the  river-wharf  and  then  turn  up  to 
my  quarters.     So,  paying  no  attention  to  his  words  or  his 
actions,   I  went  steadily  on,  and  arrived  with  safety  at  my 
hotel.     I  sat  some  time  awaiting  the  foiled  Birdseye,  but  he 
came  no  more.'    Now  his  object,  no  doubt,  was  to  rob,  if 
not  to   murder  me  — take   my  money,   and  go  aboard  the 
river-craft,  and  escape.     This  was  a  lesson  to  me  through 
life,  and  I  refused  ever  to  go  about  in  cities  with  strangers. 
And  though  I  have  traveled  much  in  the  world,  I  never  was 
robbed  of  a  cent,   though    many  vain    attempts    have  been 
made  to  pick  my  pockets.     I   paid  the  taxes  and  returned 
home  in  safety,  allowing  no  horsemen  to  be  long  with  me 
Vol.  I.— 3 


34  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

on  the  road,  either  going  forward  or  falling  back,  till  I  was 
alone.  And  I  then  felt  how  wise  was  my  father's  apothegm : 
"Never  tell  any  one  your  business."  This  trip  was  evi- 
dently intended  by  my  father  as  a  school  of  self-reliance,  and 
he  was  careful  at  all  times  to  teach  me  such  lessons,  includ- 
ing occasional  manual  labor. 

From  Garrard  County  we  followed  Mr.  Fry  to  Danville 
College,  where  he  continued  to  teach  Latin  under  President 
Murray;  and,  still  further,  to  the  house  of  his  son  Thomas, 
in  the  same  county.  We  had  a  pleasant  time  in  this  old 
Virginia  family,  with  a  large  house  and  farm,  and  with  the 
noted  spring,  wherein  suckers  could  be  seen  in  ten-foot 
water  —  studying  by  day,  and  dancing  with  the  girls  at  night. 
Thomas,  the  host,  was  a  jolly  fellow,  fond  of  tobacco  and  * 
jokes,  and  played  the  violin  whilst  we  danced.  This  was  the 
father  of  General  John  Speed  Smith  Fry,  who  killed  Gen- 
.  eral  ZollicorTer  in  the  civil  war.  At  length,  having  com- 
pleted our  Latin,  with  some  other  branches  of  learning,  my 
brother,  Brutus  J.,  went  into  business  as  a  farmer  and  stock- 
raiser.  He  was  noted  as  the  best  farmer  in  the  State  —  was 
President  of  the  State  Agricultural  Fair  of  Kentucky,  thirty 
years  President  of  the  Bourbon  Fair  Association,  and  once 
a  member  of  the  Congress  of  the  United  States  as  a  Union- 
ist ;  but,  when  Kentucky  was  treated  in  bad  faith  by  the 
Republicans  overthrowing  slavery,  without  compensation,  al- 
though pledged  against  such  illegal  action,  he  joined  the 
Democratic  party,  and  there  remained  till  his  death,  in  his 
seventy-third  year.  He  accumulated  a  large  estate,  left  a 
large  family,  having  been  twice  married,  and  was  much  like 
my  father  in  ability  and  habits. 

I  was  now  sent  to  the  Jesuit  College  of  St.  Joseph,  in 
Nelson  County,  Kentucky,  to  study  French  under  Priest 
Fouche,  a  native  Frenchman.  I  boarded  with  the  father  of 
the  President  of  the  college,  William  Elder,  in  a  beautiful 
grove  of  beech  trees  and  shrubbery,  in  which  the  white  cot- 
tage was  built ;  and  where  I  enjoyed  the  advantages  of  the 
conversation  of  some  French-Catholic  students  from  Louisi- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  35 

ana.  At  length  I  joined  the  students  in  the  college,  and 
there  boarded.  Here  I  had  my  next  fight;  for  the  only  time 
in  my  life  acting  on  the  offensive. 

By  the  laws  of  the  college,  a  priest  was  always  with  the 
students  to  keep  order  in  and  out  of  class  hours.  About 
the  largest  boy  was  a  Kentuckian  named  T — r,  who  was 
ever  annoying  the  small  boys,  and  then  handling  them 
roughly,  till  he  got  to  be  thoroughly  hated  by  all  —  going 
far  enough  to  be  offensive,  he  yet  stopped  short  of  absolute 
violation  of  the  rules  and  liability  to  punishment  by  the 
teachers.  One  day,  when  we  were  all  playing  in  the  class- 
room, and  the  supervising  priest  being  out  of  doors  some- 
what, T — r  began  his  usual  role  of  Hector.  I  had  observed 
him  a  long  time.  I  had  ever  been  devoted  to  athletic 
sports  —  riding  on  horse-back,  boxing,  hunting,  fishing,  gun- 
ning, jumping,  scuffling,  wrestling,  playing  base-ball,  bandy, 
foot-ball,  and  all  that  —  so  I  had  some  confidence  in  my 
prowess.  1  was  then  in  my  thirteenth  year.  So,  as  T — r 
was  torturing  a  small  boy,  who  began  to  cry,  being  too 
small  to  reach  him,  I  sprang  upon  a  bench,  and  hit  him  a 
stinging  blow  upon  the  nose,  which  caused  the  blood  to  fly 
in  all  directions.  He  was  taken  by  surprise,  and  was  utterly 
confounded.  The  priest,  who  had  heard  the  noise,  looked 
in,  and,  taking  in  the  situation,  went  out  again,  glad  to  see 
T — r  punished,  and  affected  to  be  ignorant  of  any  cause  of 
offence.  This  cured  T — r  of  his  evil  ways,  and  made  me 
quite  a  hero  in  the  eyes  of  the  little  fellows. 

The  next  year,  1824,  Henry  Clay,  my  remote  relative, 
whose  anti-slavery  views  I  had  partially  known,  was  then 
Secretary  of  State  under  John  Quincy  Adams.  I  ventured 
to  write  him  a  letter,  to  which  he  replied  in  his  characteistic 
careful  style  of  hand-writing.  This  was  my  first  letter  from 
him,  before  I  had  ever  seen  him.  Unhappily  this  letter, 
with  almost  my  whole  correspondence  up  to  the  year  1861, 
was  burned  during  the  war,  with  my  study  —  the  old  hewed 
log-house  homestead  —  where  I  had  carelessly  left  them 
on  going  to  Russia. 


36  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

I  had  a  very  pleasant  time  at  the  Jesuit  College  of  St. 
Joseph,  studying  only  French.  I  had  much  leisure,'  and 
spent  much  time  in  fishing  on  the  Beech  Fork  of  Salt 
River.  Here  I  learned  to  eat  bull-frogs,  of  which  my 
French  playmates  were  very  fond.  The  banks  of  the 
river  are  covered  with  rushes,  and  here  the  frogs  were 
found  in  large  numbers.  With  a  cotton  sack  slung  over 
my  shoulder,  and  a  native  cane-rod  of  proper  length,  with 
a  short  line  and  fish-hook  bated  with  red-flannel  or  earth- 
worms, I  would  find  the  frogs  sitting  among  the  rushes, 
bring  the  hook  near  their  mouths,  when  they  would  catch 
it  and  get  hung.  Then  I  would  cut  off  their  hind  legs, 
and  fill  my  pouch  with  them,  throwing  away  all  else. 
These  legs  are  quite  tender  and  white-fleshed,  like  those 
of  the  gray  squirrel,  which  is  a  favorite  dish  in  all  the 
South  and  West.  We  had  much  fun  with  the  fastidious, 
passing  off  the  frogs  for  squirrel  or  chicken  legs,  till  they 
were  greedily  eaten,  and  then  we  informed  the  gourmands, 
when  they  felt  quite  effervescent  about  the  stomach !  Here 
I  formed  the  acquaintance  of  Rowan  and  James  Hardin, 
and  their  father  Benjamin  Hardin ;  and  also  I  visited  the 
family  and  knew  John  Rowan,  sr.,  and  his  son  John;  also, 
I  formed  associations  with  other  families  and  ladies,  among 
others  Miss  Hardin,  who  married  Governor  Helm.  Many 
of  these  persons  I  met  in  after-life. 


CHAPTER   II. 


My  Father,  Green  Clay.— His  Character.— His  Apothegms.— His  Military 
Career.— His  Letter  to  Capt.  M.  Harrison.— His  treatment  of  his 
Challenger.— His  fondness  for  the  Peaceful,  Innocent,  and  Good.— 
His  death.  — Why  he  came  to  Kentucky.— Transylvania  University.— 
Its  President  and  Professors.  —  Fellow-students.  —  I  visit  Washington 
CitY    and    Baltimore.  —  President    Andrew   Jackson. —Estimate   of   his 

Character. — John  C.  Calhoun.— Martin  Van  Buren.— Journey  North. 

John  Quincy  Adams. —George  Ticknor. —Daniel  Webster.  —  Prompt  to 
keep  appointments. 


MY  father's  fatal  illness  called  me  home  from  Bards- 
town — where  I  had  formed  quite  an  attachment  to 
many  friends,  Catholic  and  Protestant,  and  who  made  me 
ever  tolerant  in  religion — to  feel  the  great  woe  of  his  ap- 
proaching death,  the  greatest  of  human  calamities. 

"Oh,   Ada,   dealh  has  come  into  the  world!" 

Has  been  the  cry  of  all  the  generations  of  men.  We 
enter  the  world  without  our  knowledge,  and  we  go  out 
unconscious.  As  the  tired  child  sinks  into  sleep,  so  the 
man  of  old  age  falls,  as  a  ripe  apple,  from  the  bough. 
There  can  not,  as  a  general  thing,  be  any  physical  pain 
in  death,  when  the  natural  law  has  had  sway.  It  is  only 
when  anomalous  circumstances  surround  us  that  the  ter- 
rors of  the  mind  and  the  pains  of  the  body  are  exhibited. 
On  the  contrary,  many  instances  are  known  where  men 
have  been  drowned  and  restored  where  pleasure  and  not 
pain  was  the  true  feeling.  So  men,  when  frozen  to  death, 
sink  into  sweet  and  willing  sleep,  and  refuse  to  be  restored. 
Agnosticism  is  one  thing,  and  aggressive  infidelity  quite 
another  thing.  I  think  Ingersoll  makes  a  mistake  in  his 
propagandism  of  infidelity.  No  man  has  a  right,  in  the 
name  of  freedom  of  thought,  to  pull  down  even  a  bad 
system  till  he  is  able  to  build  up  a  better.     Much  less  has 

37 


38  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

he  a  right  to  pull  down  the  best  religious  and  moral  sys- 
tem evolved  from  the  wisdom  of  all  the  ages,  without 
building  up  any  other  at  all !  Let  the  friends  of  Christi- 
anity not  be  disturbed.  Ingersoll  will  die  and  be  forgotten. 
He  has  thrown  no  new  light  upon  faith  nor  morals,  much 
less  upon  the  esse  of  the  immortal  spark,  which  is  not 
matter,  and  which,  even  if  it  were  matter,  can  not  die. 
And  who  can  say  that  it  will,  or  it  will  not,  assume  a 
continual  and  a  regular  progression  of  increased  happi- 
ness forever.  At  all  events,  we  have  hope  left  us,  if 
nothing  else ;  and  we  may,  from  the  lowest  standpoint, 
say,  with  Burns: 

"Here  lies  an  honest  man:   if  there  is  another  world,  he  lives  in  bliss. 
If  there  is  no  other  world,   he  made  the  best  of  this." 

If  the  more  generic  word,  a  virtuous  man,  in  the  larg- 
est sense  of  the  term,  was  substituted  for  the  more  lim- 
ited "honest,"  this  seems  to  be  about  the  best  philoso- 
phy on  the  whole  subject  of  Futurity,  so  far  as  we  are  at 
present  advanced  in  the  direction  of  the  unknown.  If  the 
Immortality  of  the  Soul  can  not  be  proved,  it  certainly  can 
not  be  disproved;  and  Ingersoll,  standing  over  the  grave 
of  his  brother,  it  is  said,  in  this  found  consolation. 

My  father  was  a  Deist ;  and  for  months  looked  death 
steadily  in  the  face  without  the  tremor  of  a  nerve.  I  was 
his  youngest  child,  whom  he  kept  mostly  with  him  as 
nurse,  and  waiting  closely  on  all  his  wants.  He  arranged 
all  his  business  and  papers  with  the  utmost  care,  and  pa- 
tiently awaited  the  end.  Like  Brutus,  before  the  battle 
of  Philippi,  his  mind  was  but  once  disturbed — just  the 
night  before  the  day  of  his  death.  He  called  me  to  his 
bedside,  and  said:  "I  have  just  seen  death  come  in  at 
that  door,"  pointing  in  the  direction  of  the  family  grave- 
yard. Those  were  his  last  words.  Now,  after  some  ex- 
perience in  life;  I  see  no  reason  for  those  fictitious  tales 
of  the  horrors  of  death-beds  of  illustrious  men  who  are 
called   agnostic ;    many  of   whom    have    been   the   greatest 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  39 

benefactors  of  mankind.  The  leaving  all  that  has  known 
us  in  life,  and  all  that  we  have  known  and  felt,  is  death. 
As  John  Q.  Adams  said:  "This  is  the  last  of  earth!" 
With  all  his  New  England  education  of  Protestantism  and 
dogmatic  faith,  he  said  all  that  he  could  say  with  knowl- 
edge:  "This  is  the  last  of  earth  " — evidently  looking  back 
at  what  was  to  be  left,  and  not  to  what  lay  before  him  in 
the  unknown.  And  this,  however  deprecated  by  enthusi- 
asts, is  the  natural  order;  and  this  the  "sting"  of  disso- 
lution. But  happily  here,  as  I  said  before,  nature  pre- 
pares the  way ;  and  the  true  philosopher,  as  well  as  the 
true   Christian,  will   walk   patiently,  if  not   willingly,  in   it. 

I  think  I  can  say  impartially,  that  my  father  was  intel- 
lectually a  man  of  the  first  order.  In  whatever  he  under- 
took, he  met  with  success.  His  profession  was  not  that 
of  the  soldier  or  statesman ;  but,  when  he  attempted 
either,  he  played  a  very  high  part.  His  life  was  one 
rather  of  business  than  anything  else ;  and  here  he  passed 
all  his  contemporaries  in  the  West.  Those  who  knew  him 
best  compared  him  favorably  with  Henry  Clay;  and,  had 
all  his  powers  been  concentrated  in  one  direction,  they 
thought  he  would  have  reached  equal  eminence.  And 
these  were  the  opinions  of  those  who  were  themselves 
eminent,  and  therefore  very  competent  judges.  His  grasp 
of  a  subject  was  very  quick  and  comprehensive.  Hence, 
though  good  at  figures,  he  said  he  had  never  studied 
them  but  nine  months,  in  which  he  accomplished  as  much 
as  others  in  many  years. 

By  a  strange  mistake  in  Horace  Greeley's  life  of  my- 
self—the "Life  and  Writings  of  C.  M.  Clay"  [N.  Y.,  Har- 
per Bros.,  1848,]  —  he  is  represented  as  having  only  at- 
tended school  "nine  months,"  when,  in  fact,  he  was  as 
well  educated  as  were  men  generally  in  Virginia  in  his 
day.  His  style  was  good  and  correct,  his  voice  very  fine; 
•  and  in  his  short  statements  of  a  subject,  in  public  speech, 
he  was  quite  forcible,  and  much  after  the  manner  of 
Franklin  in  his  generalizations  and  utterance.      He  had  a 


40  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

thorough  knowledge  of  human  nature ;  and  took  very 
practical  views  of  the  problem  of  life.  I  remember  some 
of  his  homely  but  terse  apothegms,  although  I  was  under 
sixteen  at  his  death:  "Never  tell  any  one  your  business." 
"  Enquire  of  fools  and  children,  if  you  wish  to  get  at  the 
truth."  This,  of  course,  referred  to  ordinary  events,  and 
is  very  true ;  for  they  have  no  motives  for  concealing 
what  they  know.  "In  traveling  in  dangerous  times,  never 
return  by  the  same  road."  In  his  day,  highway  robbery 
on  the  frontiers  was  a  common  thing.  "Never  set  your 
name  on  the  right-hand  side  of  the  writing."  This  was 
a  forcible  way  of  warning  agains  securityships ;  for  the 
right-hand  side  is  the  one  of  obligation,  the  left  of  attes- 
tation. "Never  say  of  any  body  what  you  would  not 
have  proclaimed  in  the  court-house  yard."  The  force  of 
the  place  of  utterance  can  only  be  appreciated  when  we 
know  that  in  Kentucky,  in  early  times,  that  was  the  place 
of  the  assemblage  of  the  whole  people.  "  Well  is  the 
tongue  called  a  two-edged  sword,"  for  it  makes  irrepara- 
ble feuds.  A  man  will  forgive  an  injury  before  an  insult. 
He  can  bear  the  first,  but  not  the  last,  and  maintain  his 
self-respect.  "  Keep  out  of  the  hands  of  the  doctor  and 
the  sheriff."  That  is,  avoid  debt  and  disease.  He  never 
put  his  hand  to  any  work  on  his  large  real-estates,  because 
he  might  injure  his  limbs,  when  a  .subordinate  would  do 
the  work  as  well.  He  would  never  walk  up  a  steep  hill 
to  rest  his  horse,  as  is  the  almost  universal  custom  among 
mankind.  He  said:  "There  are  forty  thousand  or  more 
horses,  and  but  one  Green  Clay."  And  yet  he  rode  much, 
and  was  the  most  careful  man  I  ever  knew  in  having  his 
horse  cared  for  in  travel  and  in  the  stable.  He  rarely 
sold  on  credit.  He  said:  "My  property  is  worth  more 
on  the  farm,  or  in  the  store-room,  than  in  the  pockets  of 
spendthrifts."  He  rarely  employed  physicians,  holding, 
with  many  eminent  men,  and  with  the  most  enlightened 
physicians  themselves,  that  nature  is  stronger  than  art ; 
and   that   a    man   who    had   a   term   of  years   to   study  his 


OF   CASSIUS  MARCELLUS  CLAY.  4 1 

own  constitution  would  be  a  fool  if  he  did  not  under- 
stand his  own  case  better  than  one,  however  skilled,  who 
only  gave  a  few  minutes  of  superficial  observation  to  the 
disease. 

He  was  a  hard-worker,  yet  always  would   have  plenty 
of  sleep.       He   would   make   up  in   the   day  what  was  ne- 
cessarily lost  in    the    night.      He  would   never  allow  chil 
dren   to  be    awakened ;    but    left    them,    under   all   circum- 
stances, to  sleep  on  till  they  awoke  of  themselves.      And 
this  is  the  most  important  of  all  the  means  of  health.     He 
would  never  sleep  in  the  house  in  the  day-time,  when  he 
could  find  a  suitable   place   to   lie   down   in   the  open  air. 
I   attribute   much   of  my  good   health   to   the   same   cause. 
The  damp  and  darkness  of  rooms,  and  especially  the  im- 
perfect ventilation,  are  the  causes  of  untold  diseases.     He 
understood  very  well  that  impure  water  was  the  cause  of 
most  summer-complaints,  as  flux,  diarrhoea,  typhoid  and  bil- 
ious fevers,  etc.     Hence,  he  took  all  possible  precautions  to 
secure  good  pure  water.     He  bored  two  artesian  wells  —  a 
thing  almost  unknown  in  his  day;  and  they  produce  pure 
water  to  this   time.     He  was  a  great  lover  of  sheep;   and 
had  great   faith   in   mutton,  not  only  for  its  agreeable   and 
nutritious    qualities,    but    as    a   medicine.      When    flux   pre- 
vailed, which  was  rarely  the  case  among  the  blacks,  he  had 
mutton-soup   given   to   all,   sick    and    well.       It    is    the   best 
possible    remedy  now    for   that   disease.      But    what   physi- 
cian will  open  the  way  for  a  practice  which  sends  him  to  the 
poor-house?      He    understood   how  a  mutton-sheep  should 
be  butchered,  an  unknown  art  to  millions  to-day.     No  man 
understood  better  how  to  manage  his  dependents.     He  pro- 
vided  first-class    clothing,   food,  and   shelter   for  his   slaves; 
but  always  was  rigid  and  exacting  in  discipline.     Of  all  the 
men   I   ever  knew,  he  most  kept  in  view  the  means  which 
influenced  the  end. 

Now,  slavery  was  a  terrible  thing;  but  he  made  it  as 
bearable  as  was  consistent  with  the  facts.  When  any  of 
the  slaves  were   found   to  "play  the  old  soldier,"  and  pre- 


42  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

tended  to  be  sick,  he  had  a  very  fine  medicine  in  the  bark 
of  the  white-walnut.  This  he  would  have  mixed  with  much 
water.  If  the  patient  was  really  sick,  it  was  a  safe  and 
excellent  remedy  for  many  diseases ;  but,  if  he  was  play- 
ing "possum,"  he  would  go  to  work  rather  than  swallow 
the  bark.  There  was  no  market  for  sheep  in  those  days ; 
and  my  father's  object  of  raising  large  flocks  was  to  clothe 
his  slaves  well.  He  always  had  the  heaviest  cloth  made 
for  men  and  women,  and  then  "fulled."  By  this  opera- 
tion the  web  was  thickened,  and  made,  like  the  felting 
of  the  wool-hats,  water-proof.  He  used  to  say:  "Better 
lose  the  value  of  a  coat  than  that  of  the  workman."  He 
fed  and  sheltered  his  slaves  well,  allowing  them  gardens, 
fowls,  and  bees.  Groups  of  cabins  were  far  apart  for 
pure   air. 

He  was  much  ahead  of  his  times  in  agriculture ;  and 
greatly  in  favor  of  secure  shelter  for  his  stock,  grain,  and 
hay.  In  his  intercourse  with  the  world,  he  was  rather  pleas- 
ant than  reserved  —  never  aggressive  —  but  always  prepared 
for  defense. 

When  he  went  to  the  relief  of  Fort  Meigs,  in  1813, 
which  was  built  on  the  river  Raisin  (where  now  the  city  of 
Monroe,  Michigan,  formerly  known  as  Frenchtown,  stands), 
instead  of  going  directly  to  the  fort,  where  he  must  neces- 
sarily have  lost  much  of  his  force  from  the  Indian  sharp- 
shooters, he  landed  above,  built  rapidly  flat-boats,  with 
high  side-planks,  which  were  bullet-proof,  and,  thus  drop- 
ping down  the  river,  he  hardly  lost  a  man. 

The  defeat  of  Colonel  Dudley  was  the  fruit  of  a  con- 
trary policy.  He  was  ordered  by  my  father  to  attack  a 
battery,  spike  it,  and  return  to  the  boats.  But  Dudley, 
elated  by  success,  followed  the  Indians,  and  was  cut  to 
pieces,  with  his  whole  force. 

This  caution  of  my  father  was  regarded  by  the  unwise 
as  timidity;  and,  no  doubt,  to  avoid  such  imputation,  the 
gallant  Dudley  was  ruined.  When  too  late,  of  course  all 
agreed  that  Clay  was  the  better  commander. 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


GEN.     GREEN    CLAY  S    LETTER    TO    CAPT.     M.     HARRISON. 

"Fort  Meigs,  July  8,    1813. 

"Dear  Sir: — I  should  have  written  to  you  more  often;  but  in- 
deed, my  friend,  we  have  but  -little  to  write  to  you  about,  except 
the  battle,  and  you  have  heard  that  told  over  and  over  again.  I 
have  been  confined  to  my  tent  ever  since  the  8th  of  May,  nearly ; 
but  am  recovering,  I  hope,  fast.  Here  has  been  a  fine  field  for  your 
surgeons  —  200  wounded  men,  and  but  a  few  surgeons;  many  limbs 
have  been  taken  off,  and  other  operations  worthy  the  attention  and 
experience  of  practitioners.  A  siege  is  a  horrid  situation  to  be 
in  ;  we  were  literally  driven  under  ground.  The  enemy's  cannon- 
balls  and  shells  and  grape  and  cannister-shot  and  carcasses  we 
were  unable  to  meet ;  and  we  were  compelled  to  secure  ourselves 
by  burrowing  below.  We  have  had  picked  up  by  the  soldiers 
about  six  wagon-loads  of  balls  and  shells  not  bursted,  which  the 
enemy  threw  in  and  at  our  fort. 

"Your  countryman,  Maj.  D.  Trimble,  whom  I  had  appointed 
Brigadier-Quartermaster,  I  am  likely  to  lose.  General  Harrison 
told  me  the  other  day,  when  he  was  here,  that  he  had  appointed 
him  one  of  his  aids.  Major  Trimble  has  rendered  me  great  and 
important  assistance.  When  we  arrived  at  Fort  Defiance,  we  were 
met  by  an  express  from  General  Harrison,  informing  me  that  the 
enemy  had  arrived  at  Fort  Meigs  with  three  thousand  (3,000)  men, 
including  Indians ;  and  ordered  me  to  unload  our  boats,  and  force 
ourselves  by  rapid  marches  into  Fort  Meigs.  General  Harrison 
did  not  know  where  his  orders  might  meet  me ;  therefore  it  was 
necessary  for  me  to  send  off  an  express  to  General  Harrison,  in- 
forming him  where  I  was,  the  strength  of  my  (command)  detach- 
ment, and  to  announce  to  him  my  intended  route,  and  time  of 
arrival  at  Fort  Meigs.  While  I  was  looking  out  for  a  proper 
character  to  execute  this  dangerous  and  necessary  service,  Major 
Trimble  volunteered  his  services.  It  was,  indeed,  a  forlorn-hope. 
Major  Trimble  set  out  late  in  the  afternoon,  with  six  or  seven 
men,  rowed  all  night,  till  he  reached  the  fort,  and  was  fired  upon 
and  nearly  defeated  from  our  own  fort.  As  General  Harrison  ex- 
pected the  enemy  to  force  the  walls,  he  had  ordered  the  sentries 
not  to  hail.  The  night  being  exceedingly  dark  and  rainy,  and  no 
light  in  the  fort,  they  fell  below  it,  and  were  nearly  in  the 
enemy's  camp  before  they  found  out  their  error.  He  was  re- 
ceived with  great  joy  by  General  Harrison. 


44  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

"On  the  day  of  the  action,  Major  Trimble  accompanied  me 
to  cover  the  retreat  of  the  remnant  of  Colonel  Dudley's  regiment, 
and  he  behaved  with  great  coolness  and  gallantry.  He  is  really 
the  soldier;  and  has  frequently  solicited  my  permission  to  go  out 
scouting  and  reconnoitering. 

' '  I  can  not  tell  what  may  be  thought  in  Kentucky ;  but  here, 
the  throwing  into  this  fort  the  small  succour  of  (1,200  men)  twelve 
hundred  men,  invested  with  so  powerful  a  force,  and  such  a  sub- 
tile enemy  to  cope  with,  is  thought  to  be  one  of  the  most  perilous 
and  dangerous  enterprises  an  army  could  be  capable  of  performing 
with  raw,  undisciplined  militia. 

"Here  the  Kentuckians  drove  Tecumseh,  where  the  hottest 
battle  was  fought;  and  then  he  crossed  the  river,  and,  with  their 
whole  force,  overwhelmed  Colonel  Dudley. 

"Yours,  with  sincere  respect  and  esteem, 

' '  Green  Clay. 

' '  General  Harrison  left  here  the  day  after  the  siege  was  raised, 
and  gave  the  command  of  this  and  all  the  department  (forts)  posts 
to  me.  Here  are  the  4th,  17th,  19th,  and  24th  United  States 
Regiments,  two  (2)  companies  of  Engineers  and  Artillerists,  two 
(2)  Regiments  of  Ohio  Militia,  the  Pittsburg  and  Petersburg  Vol- 
unteers, and  a  Corps  of  Riflemen  and  Calvary,  and  my  Brigade  of 
Kentucky  Militia.  I  am,  with  high  esteem  and  respect,  your  most 
obedient  servant,  Green  Clay. 

' '  We  shall  move  on  to  Maiden  shortly. 
"Capt.   Micajah  Harrison,   Mt.   Sterling,   Ky." 

The  impression  of  timidity  made  at  Fort  Meigs  caused 
some  to  doubt  his  courage ;  but,  whilst  none  were  more 
prudent  than  he,  none  were  braver  when  the  occasion  called 
for  valor.  The  man  who  slept  often  alone  in  the  wilds  of 
Kentucky,  among  bears  and  Indians,  could  not  be  otherwise 
than  brave. 

J.  J — ,  owing  my  father  money,  challenged  him,  sup- 
posing that  he  would  bully  him ;  but  my  father  replied, 
through  the  same  channel  of  the  communication:  "That, 
if  J —  would  pay  him  first,  he  would  fight  him  afterward." 
That  settled  the  question,  of  course,  without  a  fight.  He 
was  economical  in  saving  small  and  great  sums ;  but  gave 
most  liberally  when  he  felt  it  his  duty  or  his  pleasure.     He 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  45 

was  fond  of  the  beautiful,  dressed  well,  and  was  scrupu- 
lously cleanly  in  his  person  and  all  his  surroundings.  He 
always  kept  good  liquors  and  a  good  table;  but  drank 
and  ate  with  moderation.  A  cultivator  of  tobacco,  neither 
he  nor  any  of  his  family  ever  used  it  in  any  way.  So  none 
of  his  children  ever  gambled  or  drank  to  excess. 

In  the  discipline  of  women,  my  father  knew,  as  every 
sensible  man  knows,  the  strength  of  the  sexual  passions. 
Nature  ever  tends  to  the  preservation  of  the  races  of  ani- 
mals. Opportunity,  notwithstanding  all  the  sentimentalism 
about  innate  chastity,  is  the  cause  of  most  of  the  lapses 
from  virtue.  Americans  must  soon  learn  this  lesson,  or  we 
are  ruined.  Reserved  and  rather  stern  toward  his  chil- 
dren, he  was  yet  much  devoted  to  their  true  interests,  and, 
under  a  hard  bearing,  he  had  much  tenderness  toward  them. 
He  never  struck  me  a  blow  but  once.  Having  imported  a 
fine  merino  buck,  he  had  him  tied  to  a  tree ;  and,  whilst 
he  was  at  dinner,  seeing  the  buck  a  little  belligerent,  I  was 
in  the  act  of  inviting  a  trial  of  hardness  of  heads  with  the 
sheep !  But  my  father  returning,  and  seeing  my  danger, 
with  the  flat  of  his  hand  knocked  me  farther  than  the  sheep 
could  probably  have  done.  Some  of  the  calumniators  of 
my  facile  will  said,  on  hearing  this  in  after-life,  that  my 
father  took  needless  precautions,  for  my  head  would  have 
proved  too  hard  for  the  buck. 

He  was  early  convinced  of  the  destructive  and  exhaus- 
tive  culture  of  tobacco ;  and,  among  the  first  to  do  so,  ex- 
pelled it  from  his  lands.  So  he  saw  that  the  use  of  the 
"infernal  weed,"  prostrating  the  nervous  system,  led  in  a 
broad  road  to  drunkenness  and  disease ;  and  hence  his  em- 
bargo against  its  use.  He  was  also  very  successful  in  the 
breeding  of  pigeons  and  bees,  saying  these  were  the  cheap- 
est operatives,  "working  for  nothing,  and  finding  them- 
selves." He  was  fond  of  fruits  and  flowers  and  trees,  and 
attempted  landscape-gardening,  but  it  was  the  false  French 
rectangular  kind.  He  had  no  idea  of  the  effects  of  forests 
on  the  production  of  rain,  moisture,  etc.,  in  agriculture,  but 


46  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

believed  in 'the  future  value  of  timber;  and  many  acres,  if 
kept  in  the  original  trees,  in  fact  would  sell  now  for  more 
than  the  land  itself.  He  had  no  taste  for  hunting  and  gun- 
ning, and  looked  upon  them  as  a  waste  of  time ;  but  he  was 
not  averse  to  music  and  dancing. 

As  he  died  while  I  was  yet  quite  young,  I  knew  but 
little  of  his  early  life.  The  tradition  is  that  he  was  in- 
spired with  a  love  of  adventure  in  consequence  of  Boone's 
visit  to  the  wilds  of  Kentucky ;  and  my  grandfather,  a 
slave-holder,  for  some  trivial  offense,  put  him,  with  the 
women  and  children,  to  picking  cotton,  then  cultivated  for 
family  uses,  which  offended  him.  At  all  events,  he  mi- 
grated whilst  yet  a  minor  to  Kentucky.  For  his  success, 
and  political  and  civil  life,  see  American  Cyclopedia  and 
Collin  s  History  of  Kentucky. 

^_After  the  death  of  my  father,  in  about  my  seventeenth 
year,  I  entered  Transylvania  University,  at  Lexington,  Ky. 
Alva  Wood  was  then  president,  succeeding  Dr.  H.  Holley, 
who  had  gained  it  quite  a  reputation.  Being  a  brilliant 
scholar,  of  fine  presence,  and  great  conversational  powers, 
he  was  quite  a  figure  in  the  elegant  society  for  which  Lex- 
ington was  then  noted,  as  the  center  of  wealth  and  refine- 
ment of  the  State  —  Louisville  and  Covington  being  then 
but  villages.  Wood  was  also  a  New  Englander,  but  a 
very  different  man  from  Holley ;  a  fine  scholar,  but  quite 
modest  and  reserved  in  his  manners  and  bearing.  He  was 
very  rigid  in  his  discipline  and  examinations ;  and  turned 
out  some  very  finely  instructed  students  in  the  short  time 
that  he  was  in  the  chief  place. 

Among  those  in  my  class  was  N.  L.  Rice,  who  became 
somewhat  notorious  for  his  debate  with  the  illustrious  Alex- 
ander Campbell,  at  Lexington,  where  Henry  Clay  presided  as 
moderator  or  chairman.  This  debater,  Rice,  whom  I  heard, 
was  a  close,  silent,  and  severe  student ;  but  he  made  no 
mark  in  college.  Lewis  Rogers,  of  Louisville,  was  a  dis- 
tinguished physician,  and  died  in  old  age,  and  was  re- 
spected   there    by  every  one.     He    was    a    member    of  my 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  47 

class,  and  was  the  contestant  with  myself  for  the  first  place 
in  scholarships.  It  was  a  hard-fought  battle  between  us; 
but  no  public  announcement  of  our  relative  rank  was  made, 
as  Dr.  Wood,  being  called  to  the  better-paid  presidency 
of  the  Alabama  University,  left  us  in  the  senior  year, 
before  the  time  of  graduation.  But  as  he  offered  me  the 
first  place  in  the  professorships  of  his  new  university,  per- 
haps I  may  not  be  presumptuous  in  claiming  precedence 
in  scholarship  in  Transylvania. 

During  my  residence  in  Lexington,  I  had  the  good  for- 
tune to  know  and  see  some  of  Kentucky's  most  noted  ora- 
tors:  Henry  Clay,  Robert  J.  Breckinridge,  Robert  Wick- 
liffe,  Jesse  Bledsoe,  John  Pope,  and  Wm.  T.  Barry.  Here, 
also,  I  first  saw  and  made  the  acquaintance  of  Mary  Jane 
Warfield,  the  daughter  of  Elisha  Warfield,  who  bred  the 
celebrated  race-horse  Lexington,  the  best  horse,  sportsmen 
say,  that  ever  lived.  Miss  Warfield,  the  second  sister,  was 
three  years  my  junior,  of  medium  size,  graceful  movement, 
and  gay,  fascinating  manners,  which  are  so  noted  in  Irish 
women.  She  seemed  equally  pleased  with  me ;  and,  with 
a  few  lines  from  Byron,  on  the  blank  leaves  of  Wash- 
ington Irving's  sketch-book,  if  I  remember  aright,  I  left 
her  and  Lexington,  and  joinedYale  College,  in  Yankee 
land,  in  the  year  1831,  entering  the  Junior  Class. 

Having  letters  of  introduction  to  many  distinguished 
men  of  both  parties,  I  carried  one  also  to  Andrew  Jack- 
son ("Old  Hickory"),  who  was  then  President  of  the 
United  States.  My  family,  father,  brothers,  etc.,  were  all 
Whigs  —  Henry  Clay  Whigs;  and  when  I,  having  sent  in 
my  letters,  was  ushered  into  the  presence  of  the  President 
by  his  successor,  Martin  Van  Buren,  I  was  fearful  that  a 
Clay  would  receive  quite  a  cold  reception  from  Harry's 
old  foe.  But  it  was  all  the  contrary.  Jackson  was  as 
courteous,  affable,  and  agreeable  as  possible ;  and,  after 
inquiring  about  many  of  my  acquaintances  whom  he  knew, 
(but  nothing  about  Harry!)  where  I  was  going,  and  what 


48  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

I  proposed  in  my  journey  East,  he  dismissed  me,  by  tell- 
ing Mr.  Van  Buren  to  take  care  of  me. 

I  was  surprised  and  delighted  with  Jackson ;  and  did 
not  wonder  at  his  great  popularity  with  the  public  and 
personal  friends.  As  I  approached  him,  he  rose  up,  took 
me  by  the  hand,  and  seated  me.  He  was  a  striking  fig- 
ure, above  six  feet  high,  of  fine  build  and  military  carriage ; 
his  hair  grey,  cut,  and  standing  up,  as  all  his  portraits  show 
it.  His  head,  high  and  expansive,  showed  great  intellec- 
tual and  moral  powers,  rather  than  that  bull-dog  courage 
which  has  always  been  attributed  to  him.  But  I  need  not 
dwell  upon  a  man  so  well  known,  and  so  often  painted  by 
word  and  pencil.  After  I  learned  more  of  his  life,  and  had 
by  reflection  and  experience  become  better  equipped  as  a 
critic,  I  think  I  may  say  that  Jackson  was  a  man  of  emi- 
nent moral  courage  rather  than  physical ;  though  he  had 
ample  store  of  each. 

Man,  like  other  animals,  has  a  mental  structure  from  the 
brain  and  nerves;  and  also  a  physical  structure  —  the  brain, 
nerves,  and  muscles,  being  more  united  in  the  last.  Dr. 
Joseph  Rodes  Buchanan,  I  think,  has  proven  beyond  cavil, 
that  the  anterior  brain  is  the  place  of  the  intellect;  and 
the  posterior  portion,  resting  upon  the  neck,  is  that  which 
regulates  the  muscles,  the  senses,  the  sensual  and  the 
sensuous  sentiments,  actions  and  passions.  Whilst  reject- 
ing the  elaborate  subdivisions  of  the  brain  which  phre- 
nology claims,  I  think  these  two  grand  divisions  of  crani- 
ology  must  be  accepted  as  facts. 

In  the  bull-dog,  we  have  the  immense  neck  and  pos- 
terior development  of  the  brain,  which  impels  him  to  sud- 
den and  unreflecting  brute  force  and  courage.  But  in  the 
shepherd,  the  spaniel,  and  the  St.  Bernard,  we  see  the 
lighter  neck  and  the  facial  angle  of  the  brain  more  ele- 
vated,  approximating  in  degree  the  "human  face  divine." 
The  whole  memoirs  of  Jackson  show  that  he  acted  accord- 
ing to  his  facial,  or  rather  higher  cranial,  structure.  He  was 
not  quick  to  resent  injuries,  far  less  to  rush  into  personal 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  49 

assault ;  but,  on  the  contrary,  was  quite  well  poised  and  cau- 
tious in  difficulties,  when  force  was  to  be  used.  He  showed 
this  in  his  Indian  wars,  and  also  in  his  battle  at  New  Or- 
leans. But,  "being  in,"  he  exerted  all  his  moral  forces, 
and  all  his  physical  powers,  to  the  fullest  extent.  So  he 
attacked  the  British  unawares  before  the  great  battle  of 
the  8th ;  not  so  much  to  demoralize  those  trained  veterans, 
as  to  prove,  in  a  one-sided  and  partial  success,  to  his  own 
new  troops,  that  these  "Red  Coats"  were  not  invincible. 
Then,  again,  on  account  of  the  situation  of  the  ground, 
the  British  must  advance  at  right  lines  in  the  front,  or  not 
at  all.  So  he  wisely  intrenched  and  fortified  with  the  cele- 
brated cotton-bales,  which  were  not  only  accessible,  but 
the  finest  possible  material  for  the  purpose.  The  result 
all  the  world  knows.  And  this  mental  foresight  in  resisting 
force,  or  other  obstructions  of  a  mental  or  sentimental  cast, 
is  moral  courage.  And  this  all  great  statesmen  and  gen- 
erals have  exhibited ;  notably,  Caesar,  Hannibal,  Scipio,  Na- 
poleon, and  others. 

At  Lodi,  the  bridge  must  be  passed,  or  the  battle  lost ; 
and  the  battle  lost  in  the  enemy's  country,  with  an  army 
numerically  greatly  inferior,  and  far  from  recruits  or  sup- 
plies, all  was  lost.  Hence  the  "Little  Corporal"  went 
into  the  fight  first  with  the  moral  and  then  the  brute  cour- 
age united;  and  fortune  stood  on  his  side.  Henry  Clay 
had  equal  moral  courage  with  Jackson,  but  he  lacked 
military  glory;  and,  with  the  ignorant  majority,  military 
glory  is  appreciable ;  whilst  moral  courage  and  intellectual 
statesmanship  are  incomprehensible.  In  such  conflict,  Jack- 
son, of  course,  triumphed.  Had  Mr.  Clay  accepted  the 
Generalship-in-Chief  in  the  War  of  1812,  as  proposed  by 
his  friends  —  the  President,  Madison,  being  one  —  there  is  no 
doubt  but  he  would  have  made  a  great  and  successful 
general ;  for,  of  all  men  who  evef  came  into  political 
rivalry  in  our  country,  Henry  Clay  and  Andrew  Jackson 
were  the  most  alike  in  character. 
Vol.   I.— 4 


50  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

Of  all  the  generals  who  have  lived,  Julius  Caesar  was 
the  greatest ;  and  he  was  great  in  all  the  departments  of 
human  effort  —  great  as  a  lawyer,  great  as  an  orator,  great 
as  a  historian,  and  greatest  as  a  general.  In  the  social 
circle,  among  men  and  women,  he  had  no  superior  —  hand- 
some, affable,  considerate,  and  magnetic;  whilst  in  battle 
he  was  quick,  stern,  and  inflexible  —  first  anticipating  all 
obstructions,  and  then  rushing  like  exploding  dynamite 
upon  his  astonished  foes.  Jackson  and  Clay,  if  they  had 
the  equal  talent  of  Caesar,  had  not  his  opportunities ;  and, 
after  all,  fate  plays  a  great  and  unknown  part  in  human 
affairs,  and  men  are  rather  the  sequences  than  the  directors 
of  events.     Later  in  life  I  knew  Thomas  H.   Benton. 

On  the  same  occasion  I  was  introduced  to  John  C.  Cal- 
houn, who  was  quite  courteous  to  me.  Still,  as  I  had  no 
admiration  for  the  man's  principles,  I  made  my  visit  short. 
His  person  was  good,  and  his  face  intellectual  and  express- 
ive ;  but  he  left  no  great  impression  on  my  memory.  As 
we  were  in  antagonism  all  our  lives  on  great  and  conflict- 
ing principles,  I  say  no  more  about  him. 

Mr.  Van  Buren  invited  me  to  a  family  dinner,  his  three 
sons  being  at  table,  among  whom  was  "Prince  John,"  as 
he  was  familiarly  called  by  his  friends,  whom  I  afterward 
met  in  Russia,  and  of  whom  I  shall  speak  again.  Van 
Buren  was  kind  but  reserved,  and  I  only  remember  his 
rather  square  German  face  and  head.  And  here  I  was 
struck  with  the  different  manners  of  the  North  and  the 
South,  which  continue  to  this  day.  The  Russians  of  the 
higher  class  are  more  like  the  Southerners,  than  the  South- 
erners are  like  the  Northerners.  In  Baltimore  I  made  the 
acquaintance  of  Reverdy  Johnson,  and  his  most  agreeable 
family,  and  other  men  of  less  note.  In  Philadelphia,  I  car- 
ried letters  to  John  Sargent,  and  I  was  introduced  to  the 
Ingersolls,  Biddies,  and  other  distinguished  families,  who 
left  no  impression  upon  me.  New  York  was  democratic, 
and  then  provincial,  compared  to  Philadelphia,  and  I  car- 
ried   no    letters    there.      Passing    New    Haven,    I    went   to 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  5 1 

Boston,  and  formed  a  very  large  circle  of  acquaintances. 
I  carried  letters  to  John  Quincy  Adams,  George  Ticknor, 
and  others.  I  saw  Mr.  Adams  on  my  second  visit  to 
Boston,  after  I  had  begun  political  life,  at  his  own  home 
at  Quincy,  and  spent  over  an  hour  with  him.  At  that  time 
(I  never  have  been  there  since,)  the  famous  man,  though 
wealthy,  lived  in  a  framed  house  of  very  humble  preten- 
sions, in  an  agreeable  group  of  trees  and  shrubbery.  The 
ceiling  was  very  low,  being  much  less  airy  than  my  own 
house.  I  found  Mr.  Adams  at  home,  and,  waiting  in  the 
hall  to  send  in  my  card  and  letters,  in  a  very  short  time  I 
was  in  the  presence  of  the  statesman  whom  I  so  much 
admired,  as  the  friend  of  Henry  Clay.  He  is  too  well 
known  to  call  for  my  impressions  of  his  person.  He  re- 
ceived me  with  a  smile,  and  talked  long  and  familiarly  with 
me.  But  after  such  a  lapse  of  tim,e,  but  little  remains  on 
my  memory.  I  only  recall  that  he  told  me  he  never  missed 
an  appointment  in  his  life.  I,  knowing  the  careless  habits 
of  the  South  in  that  respect,  said  to  him:  "You,  of  course, 
speak  of  appointments  to  speak."  "No,"  returned  he; 
"  but  in  all  the  transactions  of  life,  I  make  it  a  rule  to  be 
prompt  at  the  time  named." 

This  made  such  an  impression  on  me,  that  I  determined 
that  I  would  imitate  him  myself.  And  I  can  now  say  that  I 
have  made  more  public  speeches  than  any  man  in  America, 
excepting  the  public  lectures  may  be  so  called,  and  I  have 
never  missed  an  appointment.  I  was  always  ready  to  move, 
and  to  move  on  the  first  conveyance.  So  that,  if  the  first 
boat,  car,  or  stage  broke  down,  I  would  have  the  chance  of 
the  next;  and,  if  there  were  no  other  trains  or  conveyance, 
I  had  at  least  all  chances  of  repair  of  the  ones  used.  Once, 
however,  whilst  lecturing  in  New  York,  with  all  my  precau- 
tions, I  missed  connection,  and  was  about  to  lose  my  ap- 
pointment. I  was  getting  then  from  from  fifty  to  one  hun- 
dred dollars  for  each  lecture  (a  large  sum  then  for  any  one, 
and  I  was  not  interested  in  it),  so  if  I  lost  that  one,  I 
I  lest  not  only  my  hundred   dollars,  but  was  likely  to  lose 


52  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

the  next  series,  or  a  part  of  it.  So,  going  to  a  rail- 
road office,  I  paid  fifty  dollars  for  a  special  car,  and  so 
down  in  time.  The  audience,  a  full  house,  were  all  in, 
and  waiting  for  me.  The  time  was  nearly  up,  and  many 
said:  "He  can  not  come;  the  train  is  in,  and  Clay  not  on 
it."  Here  a  friend  of  mine,  knowing  my  punctuality,  said: 
"I  will  bet  a  hundred  dollars  that  Clay  will  be  in  time  by 
the  clock."  The  bet  was  made,  and  in  I  walked.  My 
friend,  who  afterward  told  me  the  circumstance,  said:  "I 
handed  back'  the  money,  telling  the  loser  that  it  was  not 
fair  to  take  it  up  on  a  certainty  of  the  result." 

When  I  spoke  in  Ohio,  in  1876,  I  was  forty  miles  away 
from  my  appointment;  and,  there  being  no  stage,  boat,  or 
railroad  in  that  direction,  all  my  friends  said  it  was  impos- 
sible ;  but  I  got  there  in  time  by  carriage,  with  relays  of 
horses.  So,  in  1875,  I  was  at  Memphis,  and  my  appoint- 
ment was  at  Greenville,  Mississippi.  All  said  it  was  use- 
less to  attempt  it ;  yet,  after  forty-eight  hours'  struggle,  I 
was  in  the  presence  of  my  expectant  audience,  and  received 
with  great  enthusiasm.  So,  in  all  my  life-work,  I  have 
not  recognized  the  impossible  till  fate  had  finally  decided. 
Something  of  this  is,  no  doubt,  constitutional ;  but  much 
was  the  result  of  illustrious  example. 

As  this  visit  was  probably  in  1844,  after  I  had  entered 
upon  my  anti-slavery  career,  Mr.  Adams  paid  me  the  com- 
pliment of  saying  he  regarded  me  as  "one  of  the  pillars  of 
the  temple  of  American  liberty." 

/  "At  my  first  visit  to  Boston,  I  carried  letters  to  Daniel 
Webster,  and  made  his  acquaintance ;  but  of  him  I  shall 
say  more  hereafter.  I  found  George  Ticknor  in  his  Bos- 
ton home.  I  well  remember  his  massive,  high  forehead, 
and  distinguished  bearing.  At  a  private  ball  at  his  house, 
I  met  again  Daniel  Webster.  He  had  the  largest  private 
library  I  had  seen  —  the  whole  walls  of  a  large  room  being 
filled  with  books.  Then  and  afterward  I  met  and  made  the 
acquaintance  of  most  of  Boston's  distinguished  men  and 
women :   Whittier,   the   poet ;   the  Quincys ;  the  Otises ;   Dr. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  53 

Howe,  and  his  famous  wife,  Julia  Ward  H.,  whom  I  visited 
at  their  country  home;  John  J.  Palfrey,  John  A.  Andrew, 
and  Edward  Everett,  with  all  three  of  whom  I  afterward 
had  correspondence,  as  well  as  with  the  Quincys,  Phillipses, 
etc.;  Wm.  Lloyd  Garrison;  Robert  Winthrop ;  Judge  Bige- 
low,  and  his  accomplished  lady,  whose  guests  Mrs.  Clay  and 
myself  were  in  1844;  and  Charles  Sumner,  who  afterward 
visited  me  in  Kentucky.  I  saw  Rufus  Choate  the  lawyer, 
but  was  never  presented  to  him.  I  well  remember  his 
large  frame,  and  great  thoughtful  eyes ;  but  never  heard 
him  speak.  It  was  much  later  in  life  when  I  met  my 
eccentric  and  distinguished  friend,  Benj.  F.  Butler,  who, 
like  the  German  carp,  is  likely  to  live  a  hundred  years,  and 
keep  the  waters  muddy  and  turbulent  all  the  time ! 


CHAPTER   III 


Yale  College. — Its  President  and  Professors. — William  Lloyd  Garrison. — 
His  logical  discourse  converts  me. — I  deliver  the  Washington  Centen- 
nial Oration  of  1832.  —  Am  Baptized.  —  Christianity,  reflections  con- 
cerning.— Class-mates. — Joseph  Longworth. — His  father,  Nicholas  Long- 
worth.— American  Grapes  and  Wines. — Allan  Taylor  Caperton. — The 
Lost  Love. — Lines  Poetic. — "Girls  and  Boys  go  a  Hickory-nut-hunting." 
A  Portrait. — Engaged. 


AS  I  was  well  up  in  my  studies,  being  a  good  Latin 
scholar,  and  then  well  versed  in  the  French  (though 
this  last  was  not  in  the  regular  course),  I  easily  joined 
the  Junior  Class  in  their  last  session,  toward  commence- 
ment. Jeremiah  Day  was  president,  and  well  advanced  in 
life ;  unprepossessing  in  features,  yet  with  the  impress  of 
a  high  moral  and  benignant  nature. 

I  had  gone  to  Boston  in  part  to  determine  whether  I 
would  enter  Harvard  or  Yale,  and  decided  to  go  to  New 
Haven,  on  account  of  its  reputed  beauty  of  trees,  as  well 
as  its  reputation  for  thoroughness  in  education  —  a  prime 
quality  always  with  me.  For  when  I  studied  Latin  with 
Joshua  Fry,  Graves  and  Bates,  boarding  more  than  a  mile 
from  our  school,  often  came  to  consult  the  old  teacher 
about  the  translation  of  a  single  word  when  they  differed. 
This  was  the  way  to  make  great  scholars  and  great  men. 
The  vast  field  of  the  "curriculum"  attempted  in  modern 
times  is  more  destructive  to  the  intellect  than  no  educa- 
tion at  all,  in  the  great  mass  of  students.  The  mind,  en- 
feebled by  frequent  failure  to  grasp  the  subject  at  issue, 
becomes  often  despondent,  and  at  last  impotent! 

There    were    quite    a    number    of    Southerners    then    in 

<v^  Yale ;    so    I    soon    felt    at    home,    and    entered    upon    my 

studies    with    good    heart.      I    joined    one    of   the    college 

societies,  and  took  a  leading  part  in  the  debates ;   but,  as 

54 


OF  CASSIUS  MARCELLUS  CLAY.  55 

I  soon  entered  upon  an  exciting  political  career,  I  do  not 
now  remember  to  what  society  I  did  or  do  now  belong. 
I  believe  it  was  the  AJ4iha  Beta_Mki.  President  Day  was 
silent,  dignified,  and  amiable.  He  never  said  anything;  but 
we  all  loved  him.  All  the  other  professors  had  their  admirers 
and  their  critics.  Benjamin  Silliman,  the  chief  figure,  was 
then  in  the  height  of  his  eminence  as  a  chemist,  and  in- 
ventor, and  experimenter,  in  all  the  civilized  world ;  of  large 
stature  and  of  large  brain,  and  "as  happy  as  a  big  sun- 
flower;" full  of  vanity,  but  of  that  pleasant  sort  which, 
running  over,  allows  his  friends  to  share  the  intoxicating 
fluid ;  and  so  he,  too,  had  no  enemies.  Professor  Good- 
rich was  ambitious  and  great,  I  suppose,  in  Greek ;  but, 
as  I  went  through  four  colleges,  and  don  't  know  my 
Greek  letters  hardly,  I  pass  on!  Professor  J.  L.  Kings- 
ley  was  a  man  of  fine  common  sense,  and  was  highly 
respected.  Professor  Olmstead  was  silent,  amiable,  and 
liked  by  his  scholars.  The  Rev.  Leonard  Bacon  was  then 
the  leading  preacher  in  the  Independent  Presbyterian 
Church  at  Yale ;  a  cold,  technical,  dogmatical  Puritan. 
He  was  always  an  uncompromising  defender  of  slavery; 
bolstering  it  up,  when  it  only  could  take  a  stand  in  the 
Jewish  Scriptures,  after  it  had  been  driven  for  centuries 
from  the  hearts  of  all  true  Christians.  Perhaps  he  found 
it  his  interest  to  be  on  the  winning  side  for  the  Union 
wh^n  he  saw  it  was  inevitable,  and  that  slavery  and  all  its 
defenders  would  go  down !  But  I  pass  the  learned  doctor^ 
to  consider  a  character  worthy  the  admiration  and  gratitude 
of  all  mankind. 

One  of  the  peculiarities  of  the  anti-bellum  times  was 
the  isolation  of  thought  between  the  Liberals  of  the  South 
and  the  North.  Such  was  the  policy  of  the  South.  So, 
when  I  entered  Yale,  with  my  soul  full  of  hatred  to  slavery, 
I  had  never  known  anything  of  Garrison  or  his  history. 
Soon  after  I  entered  college,  before  I  had  noted  the  situa- 
tion, it  was  announced  that  Garrison  was  going  to  speak 
in    the    South    Church    that    night  —  the    church,    at    least, 


56  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

nearest  the  South  of  the  city,  and,  I  think,  so  called. 
"Who  is  Garrison?"  I  asked.  "Why,  Garrison  is  the 
Abolitionist.  Don't  you  know?"  So,  as  I  had  never 
heard  an  Abolitionist,  nor  the  name  hardly,  I  went  to 
hear  Garrison. 

Every  accessible  place  was  crowded ;  but  I  pressed  on 
determinedly  to  the  front,  so  far  as  to  see  and  hear  him 
fully.  In  plain,  logical,  and  sententious  language  he 
treated  the  "Divine  Institution"  so  as  to  burn  like  a 
branding-iron  into  the  most  callous  hide  of  the  slave- 
holder and  his  defenders.  This  was  a  new  revelation  to 
me.  I  felt  all  the  horrors  of  slavery;  but  my  parents 
were  slave-holders ;  all  my  known  kindred  in  Kentucky 
were  slave-holders ;  and  I  regarded  it  as  I  did  other  evils 
of  humanity,  as  the  fixed  law  of  Nature  or  of  God,  and 
submitted  as  best  I  might.  But  Garrison  dragged  out 
the  monster  from  all  his  citadels,  and  left  him  stabbed  to 
the  vitals,  and  dying  at  the  feet  of  every  logical  and  hon- 
est mind. 

As  water  to  a  thirsty  wayfarer,  were  to  me  Garrison's 
arguments  and  sentiments.  He  was  often  and  boisterously 
hissed ;  but  I  stood  silent  and  thoughtful  in  the  depths  of 
my  new  thought.  Another  meeting  of  the  citizens  was 
called  for  the  next  night,  to  answer  Garrison.  I  do  not  now 
remember  who  were  the  orators;  but  the  "Liberal"  Dr. 
Bacon  ought  to  have  been,  if  he  was  not,  the  man  to 
answer  such  broad  logic  of  truth,  and  justice,  and  relig- 
ion, and  humanity;  for  he  had  that  temperament  and  tech- 
nichal  training  which  best  fitted  him  to  make  the  worse 
appear  the  better  cause.  I  once  more  got  a  good  place 
to  hear;  and,  as  sophism  after  sophism,  and  false  conclu- 
sion from  more  false  assumptions  followed,  in  chain-like 
succession,  they  were  greeted  with  thundering  applause. 
This  aroused  me  from  my  apathy.  I  felt  the  greatest  in- 
dignation. I  never,  in  all  my  life,  was  so  agitated  in  a 
public  assemblage.  I  first  thought  I  would  interrupt  him, 
'and    deny  his    assumptions    of   fact;    then    I    concluded    to 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  57 

answer  him  in  order;  and,  was  preparing  to  do  so,  when 
another  sprang  up,  and  gave  me  time  to  reflect,  that  I  had 
come  to  Yale  to  learn,  and  not  to  teach.  So  I  returned  to 
my  room  as  full  of  tumultuous  emotions  as  on  the  night 
before.  I  then  resolved,  however,  that,  when  I  had  the 
strength,  if  ever,  I  would  give  slavery  a  death  struggle. 

I  pursued  my  studies  with  energy.  On  the  2  2d  day 
of  February,  1832,  I  was  chosen  to  deliver  the  Centennial 
Oration  on  Washington's  birth.  This  I  spoke  only  on  the 
part  of  the  Senior  Class.  There  was  no  other  similar  ora- 
tion made  in  New  Haven  on  that  day.  So  I  had  the 
whole  of  the  elite,  social  and  literary,  of  the  college  and 
New  Haven  to  hear  me.  And  there  I  made  my  first  anti- 
slavery  speech.  (See  Greeley's  Life  and  Writings  of  C. 
M.  Clay,  New  York,  1848.)  My  mother,  my  elder  brother, 
Sidney  P.  (a  Presbyterian),  and  all  my  family  (but  Brutus 
and  I),  my  sisters  Eliza,  Paulina,  and  Anne,  belonged  to 
some  church.  The  moral  sentiments  move  in  concert,  as 
the  evil  passions  do.  So  the  good  seed  which  Garrison 
had  watered,  and  which  my  own  bitter  experience  had 
sown,  aroused  my  whole  soul. 

There  was  a  religious  revival  in  our  senior  year.  I, 
too,  abandoned  my  old  departures  from  the  known  paths 
of  the  eternal  laws,  and  joined  the  revivalists ;  and  was 
baptized  by  the  Baptist  minister  in  New  Haven  Sound. 
My  mother  was  a  Calvinist  Baptist,  and  naturally  I  would 
fall  into  her  church ;  but  when  I  remembered  the  speakers 
in  the  Garrison  foray,  I  could  never  feel  brotherhood  for 
such  Christians.  So  I  sought  a  common-place  Baptist 
preacher,  and  was  baptized  in  the  sea,  and  received  into 
his  church.  I  received  my  religion  as  a  matter  of 
course,  just  as  I  did  slavery  on  trust ;  but  when  I  began 
to  read  the  Scriptures,  on  my  return  home  (like  Paley's 
Evidences  of  Christianity),  they  rather  upset  than  con- 
firmed my  faith ;  and  I  finally  wrote  to  our  New  Haven 
minister  to  strike  me  from  the  roll  of  the  church.  Then 
I  was  reminded  of   Bacon's   theology  and  its   fruits,   which 


58  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

I  had  seen  in  the  old  South  Church ;  for  I  saw  all  around 
me  the  whole  clergy,  with  the  exception  of  John  G.  Fee 
(now  of  Berea  College,  Madison  County,  Kentucky),  stand- 
ing for  slavery  as  a  "Divine  Institution!"  I  had  no  fellow- 
ship with  men  with  such  a  creed;  and  I  preferred,  if  God 
was  on  that  side,  to  stand  with  the  Devil  rather;  for  he 
was  silent,  at  least.  So,  if  I  said  and  wrote  hard  things 
against  the  Scriptures,  and  especially  the  preachers,  it  was 
because  they  were  the  false  prophets  which  it  was  neces- 
sary to  destroy  with  slavery. 

But  larger  experience  in  the  world  has  taught  me  to 
look  at  Christianity  (though  the  clergy  have  done  more 
for  infidelity  than  all  the  infidels,)  in  a  broader  apprecia- 
tion, and  with  a  more  philosophical  spirit.  The  true 
theory  I  have  touched  upon  in  the  chapter  where  I  speak 
of  Ingersoll.  And  we  must  look  upon  the  Christian  sys- 
tem not  as  a  matter  of  faith,  nor  as  a  religious  code  only, 
but  as  a  great  moral  system  of  infinite  worth  to  the  human 
race ;  not  at  all  to  be  questioned,  far  less  rejected,  because 
there  may  be  in  its  professions  or  history  some  assumed 
facts  irreconcilable  with  reason.  We  must  stand  with 
Franklin  in  his  system  of  morality,  as  illustrated  by  his 
axe :  He  found  it  difficult  to  grind  his  axe  altogether 
bright;  but  did  not  thereupon  throw  it  away.  It  was  a 
good  and  useful  axe,  even  with  a  few  insignificant  spots 
left  upon  it.  So  I  stand  by  Christianity,  however  repre- 
sented, or  however  misrepresented  —  seeing  a  grand  and 
ennobling  and  saving  system  left  for  the  elevation  and 
happiness  of  mankind.  After  you  have  washed  away  all 
the  dirt  and  all  the  tattered  rags,  which  enemies  and  false 
or  deluded  friends  have  thrown  around  it,  there  Christianity 
still  stands  in  unrivalled  perfection  and  beauty,  worthy  of 
our  highest  worship  and  devotion  in  the  world ;  and  our 
only  hope  of  another  and  a  better  life  in  the  infinite  un- 
known. 

The  Cosmos,  infinite  in  itself,  can  never  be  solved  by 
man  of  finite  faculties.     This  morning  it  was  dark,  and  in 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  59 

a  few  minutes  the  light  of  morn  began  to  stream  through 
the  window-shutters  —  wonderful  work  of  Nature  or  Di- 
vinity. These  same  wonders  have  been  repeated  all  those 
years  of  a  long  and  observant  life.  They  have  been  sub- 
jected to  all  science,  and  all  logic,  and  all  speculation ;  and 
they  are  as  far  from  being  solved  as  in  my  infancy.  It  may 
be  said  that  of  the  hereafter,  and  of  the  immortality  of  the 
soul,  we  know  nothing.  Granted.  If  a  future  life  can  not 
be  proved,  it  can  not  be  disproved.  And  when  we  have  fol- 
lowed all  the  scientists  to  that  unknown  bourne,  we  are  just 
as  much  in  the  dark  as  in  the  beginning  of  man's  existence. 
So,  when  speculation  and  aspiration  are  all  that  is  left  us, 
it  seems  to  me  the  safest  and  most  logical  course  to  hope 
for  the  happiest  issues,  and  there  rest. 

Of  my  class-mates,  Joseph  Longworth  was  the  most 
noted  in  after-life,  for  his  munificent  gift  at  Cincinnati  to 
promote  art.  At  college,  as  in  after-life,  he  was  unambi- 
tious. We  were  much  together.  Very  amiable,  and  very 
full  of  humor  and  wit,  he  was  the  most  pleasant  of  com- 
panions. His  tastes  were  then  decidedly  literary;  and  he 
could  aptly  quote,  and  humorously  or  seriously  declaim, 
choice  fragments  from  all  of  the  most  popular  authors.  In 
Connecticut  the  white  fish  were  seined  and  used  to  manure 
the  fields.  The  odor  was  not  agreeable.  One  morning, 
meeting  me  coolly  taking  my  usual  walk  in  the  near 
grounds,  with  which  New  Haven  was  surrounded,  by  the 
Hillhouse  estate  and  others,  Longworth  said:  "Ah!"  rub- 
bing his  hands,  "Ever  fond  of  nature;  listening  to  the  birds, 
and  breathing  the  delightful  atmosphere  of  the  white  fish!  " 
When  one  of  his  collegiates,  in  after-life,  wrote  to  him,  as 
to  others,  for  the  data  of  a  sketch  of  his  life,  he  replied  he 
had  nothing  to  say,  and  "could  hardly  be  expected  to  as- 
sist in  taking  his  own  life!"  His  father,  Nicholas  Long- 
worth  (whom  I  well  knew,  and  with  whose  agreeable  family 
I  spent  many  pleasant  days  after  my  marriage  —  Mrs.  L., 
Mrs.  Eliza  Flagg,  and  Miss  Kate  Longworth,  who  after- 
ward  married   Larz   Anderson,  brother  of  the   defender  of 


60  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

Fort  Sumter),  was  a  man  of  sterling  qualities,  to  whom 
the  enterprising  city  of  Cincinnati  owes  much  of  her  great 
prosperity.  He  was  the  first  who,  having  tried  all  the 
leading  foreign  grapes,  conceived  the  idea  of  cultivating 
native  vines.  He  introduced  the  Catawba  from  North 
Carolina,  the  best  wine  and  eating  grape  in  this  latitude, 
and  other  varieties ;  and  set  the  public  in  the  right  direc- 
tion. His  hints  have  been  well  followed  up;  and  we  now 
rival  Europe.  This,  it  is  true,  at  a  distance ;  but  finally  we 
will  excel  her  in  both  grapes  and  wine,  Mr.  Longworth, 
in  both,  having  set  the  example. 

Of  all  the  snobs  in  the  world,  save  me  from  the  Amer- 
ican snob !  Mr.  Longworth  sent  some  boxes  of  Catawba 
champagne  to  the  American  Minister  at  London,  to  try  and 
introduce  it  into  Great  Britain,  and  which  was  of  course 
a  great  market  for  all  foreign  wines ;  but,  instead  of  grasp- 
ing the  idea  of  Mr.  Longworth,  he  wrote,  and  it  reached 
the  journals,  that  he  was  not  engaged  in  commerce;  and 
he  indignantly  refused  the  gift.  When  we  remember  that 
the  Prince  of  Wales  is  now  breeding  South-Downs,  con- 
testing the  prizes  in  the  royal  agricultural  shows,  and  else- 
where, and  sending  his  sheep  to  the  United  States,  with 
his  name  marked  upon  the  wool  for  sale,  we  can  appreci- 
ate the  difference  between  men  of  sense  and  gentlemen, 
like  the  Prince  and  Longworth,  and  the  man  raised  by 
chance  to  distinguished  position.  His  name  is  already 
forgotten ;  but  Longworth  will  ever  remain  in  the  memory 
of  Americans,  as  one  of  their  greatest  benefactors.  For 
he  was  not  confined  in  his  efforts  to  grape-culture,  but 
made  advances  in  horticulture  and  the  fine  arts,  and  land- 
scape-gardening. 

As  an  instance  of  the  absurdities  of  fashion  and  habit, 
it  was  objected  to  the  American  wines  that  they  had  too 
much  bouquet,  or  grape-taste;  and  the  "dry,"  "insipid," 
"doctored"  wines  of  Europe  were  greatly  preferred.  I 
never  gave  way  to  such  nonsense;  for  what  flavor  in  all 
nature  is  more  delicious  than  the  taste  of  a  fine  ripe  grape? 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  6 1 

But  now  American  wines  are  sought  after,  for  the  same 
reason  that  they  were  once  rejected ;  and  the  time  is  near 
when  we  will  supply,  not  only  ourselves,  but,  in  part,  the 
world  with  wine.  For  our  soil  and  climate  are  admirably 
adapted  to  the  grape;  and  experience  will,  at  last,  teach 
us  the  best  methods  of  turning  the  fruit  into  wines. 

Professor  Ed.  E.  Salisbury,  my  junior  by  a  few  years, 
was  also  my  class-mate.  He  was  wealthy,  and  married  a 
woman  of  fortune ;  and  spent  much  time  in  Europe  and 
the  East.  He  was  a  fine  scholar,  and  studied  the  ancient 
and  oriental  languages  in  Paris;  and,  in  1841,  was  made 
honorary  professor  of  Arabic  and  Sanscrit  in  Yale.  He 
attained  distinction  as  a  scholar  at  home  and  abroad.  But 
my  purpose  is  simple  mention ;  and  I  conclude  by  saying 
that  he  has  added  much  to  his  own  and  the  reputation 
of  his  country  and  Yale. 

Well  do  I  remember  Allen  Taylor  Caperton,  of  Vir- 
ginia, with  his  ever-beaming  grey  eyes  and  flexible  feat- 
ures. He  was  much  my  friend,  and  I  saw  much  of  him. 
Full  of  wit  and  humor  and  "practical  jokes,"  he  won  the 
hearts  of  all.  The  leader  of  all  fun  —  changing  the  signs 
of  business-houses,  and  making  things  very  ridiculous ; 
tossing  bores,  who  could  take  no  other  hints  to  be  off, 
in  blankets ;  and  treating  the  Northerners  to  their  tradi- 
tional pies  unbaked!  He  led  a  slip-shod  life,  and  hardly 
passed  graduation  by  the  general  favor  which  all  enter- 
tained for  him.  So,  we  might  say  of  him,  as  Prince  Hal 
said  of  Falstaff :  "  Well  could  we  have  spared  a  better 
man."  But,  as  history  frequently  has  shown,  like  most 
men  of  exuberant  spirits  in  college,  when  he  entered  real 
life  he  laid  aside  his  frivolity,  and  addressed  himself  with 
ability  and  success  to  his  life-work.  He  was  a  good 
lawyer,  but  shone  most  as  a  politician,  entering  the  Con- 
federate States'  Senate ;  and,  after  the  restoration  of  the 
Union,  the  Senate  of  the  United  States.  I  copy,  from 
the  obituary  oration  of  Senator  Tucker,  of  Virginia,  1877, 
a  single  extract : 


62  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

"As  a  public  man,  he  was  animated  by  a  high  public  spirit, 
lending  his  aid   to   all   schemes  which  would   benefit  and   advance 

the  interests  of  his  community He   fell   at   the   post 

of  duty;  and  has  left  to  his  countrymen  a  name  without  a  stain,  a 
character  for  spotless  and  lofty  integrity,  and  the  perpetual  mem- 
ory of  a  noble  and  honorable  life." 

N^Benjamin  Hardin's  son  Rowan,  and  Howard  Wickliffe, 
son  of  Robert  Wickliffe,  all  Kentuckians,  were  in  the 
lower  classes  with  me  at  Yale,  and  associates.  They  were 
men  of  great  natural  powers  and  true  worth,  but  died 
young.  So  the  gods  decreed.  Thus  others,  whom  I  re- 
member with  the  pleasures  of  friendship,  fell  by  the  way- 
side, in  the  hard  ascent  of — 

"The  steep  where  fame's  proud  temple  shines  afar." 

Between  the  time  when  I  stood  in  the  waters  of  Tates' 
creek,  and  nearly  cut  off  the  big  toe  of  the  girl  who  took 
part  with  the  dominie  with  the  long  beech-rod,  and  the 
time  when  I  committed  the  irrevocable  and  most  important 
act  of  my  life  —  marriage  —  there  was  in  my  own  town  a 
girl,  E.  R — ,  slightly  my  junior,  and  also  a  blonde.  Too 
young  to  have  suitors,  like  the  native  wild-flowers  of  our 
grand  forests,  she  was  budding  unseen  and  unconscious 
of  her  charms,  which  were  so  attractive  to  those  who  were 
fortunate  enough  to  have  been  by  any  chance  thrown  within 
her  domestic  circle.  To  see  her  was  to  love  her.  How 
far  she  reciprocated  my  half-avowed  passion  I  can  only  con- 
jecture ;  but  that  conjecture  was  to  me  full  of  hope,  and 
set  me  seriously  to  consider  the  greatest  problem  of  life.  * 

*  About  this   time    inspired,   as   most   young   men,   I   wrote  the 

following  lines,   then  published,   and  often  complimented: 

C.    1885. 
LINES, 

BY    CASSIUS    M.    CLAY. 

Dear  to  Chaldeans  are  the  skies ; 
To  Magi  dear  the  morning  sun ; 
But  oh !  give  me  a  woman's  eyes 
To  look  upon. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  63 

Jealous  eyes,  however,  as  ever  in  such  affairs  are  inevita- 
ble, had  "ta'en  a  note;"  and  a  proud  family,  impatient 
under  vulgar  espionage  and  offensive  comment,  gathered 
up  their  household  gods,  with  the  loved  one  included, 
and  took  refuge  in  the  Far  West.  What  was  my  sur- 
prise and  despair  when  these  facts  were  confirmed  beyond 
question!  My  first  thought,  on  my  return  home,  was  to 
follow,  and  avow  my  passion,  and  thus  prove  the  sincerity 
of  the  tacit  promise,  which  might  fairly  be  inferred,  though 
both  of  us  were  under  the  age  for  such  serious  venture. 
But  on  a  second  thought,  as  our  families  were  of  equal 
rank,  might  not  my  purpose  have  been  anticipated,  and 
the  suit  have  been  unacceptable?  I,  too,  was  proud- 
hearted  ;  and  never  saw  her  more !  Thus  perished,  as 
with  one  awaking,  a  beautiful  dream  ;  but  its  memory  re- 
mains forever!  Such  first  love  has  been  felt  by  poet  and 
sage,  as  the  one  undissoluble  tie  of  kindred  souls,  which 
fill  with  sunshine  or  shade  all  after-life ;  and  is  the  inex- 
orable, called  "fate!" 

So  at  sea,  I  drifted  to  the  scenes  of  later  boyhood;  and, 

My  spirit,  as  the  Lybian  wilds, 
Which  Niger's  flood  would  quench  in  vain, 
Though  drinking  in  a  thousand  smiles, 
Yet  thirsts  again. 

My  heart,  just  as  the  fabled  one 
Of  him  where  vultures  ever  prey, 
Though  long  by  passion  fed  upon, 
Wastes  not  away. 

My  love,   is  like  the  flaming  beams 
Of  vestal  fire  in  sacred  urns ; 
By  day  and  night,  awake,   in  dreams, 
It  ever  burns. 

Chaldeans  live  in  clouded  skies, 
And  Magi  breathe  without  the  sun  ; 
Shut  out  from  me  loved  woman's  eyes  — 
—  1833.  I  am  undone. 


64  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

at  Lexington,  was  united  in  marriage  with  her  who  held 
the  book  given  during  my  course  in  Transylvania. 

Mary  Jane  had  not  yet  reached  her  eighteenth  year, 
and  was  still  going  to  school  in  Lexington.  Her  house 
was  already  open  to  her  young  friends.  Her  elder  sister, 
Anne,  about  this  time  had  returned  from  an  Eastern  school, 
and  made  her  entrance  into  society.  She  imported  all  the 
follies  and  habitudes  of  such  academies ;  and  aspired  to 
lead  the  elegant  society  for  which  Lexington  has  ever 
been  noted.  She  was  dark-skinned,  slightly  freckled,  with 
thin  hair  and  person,  and  "  jimber-jawed."  So  that,  in 
early  life,  "her  nose  and  chin  did  threaten  'ither!"  She 
had  what  was  then,  in  cant  phrase,  called  the  "Grecian 
bend,"  an  inclination  of  the  body  forward,  after  the  man- 
ner of  some  of  the  classic  Venuses.  This  indecent  atti- 
tude of  self-consciousness,  well  enough  in  the  sensual 
pagan  idea  of  womanhood,  was  avoided  by  my  friend, 
Joel  T.  Hart,  in  his  "Woman  Triumphant."  Whilst  fol- 
lowing nature  in  the  course  of  time,  he  impersonates  the 
modern  woman  of  purity,  and  the  flexibility  of  features 
which  comes  of  mental  and  moral  culture.  Whilst  some 
women  are  said  to  gush  with  sympathy  or  affection,  Anne 
reversed  that  artistic  operation.  She  gushed  with  an  affec- 
tation of  contempt  or  hatred.  She  would  throw  up  both 
hands,  roll  her  eyes  as  if  all  was  over  with  her,  and  then, 
opening  wide  her  mouth,  she  would  break  out  in  an 
indescribable  guffaw.  She  seemed  at  daggers'-  points 
with  herself  and  all  the  world,  which  was  ominous  of  all 
the  ills  of  her  future  life !  As  a  scandal-monger,  she  ter- 
rorized all  Lexington.  Never,  therefore,  had  woman  so 
magnificent  a  foil  to  set  off  her  charms,  as  the  younger 
sister  had  in  the  elder  Warfield. 

The  guests  would  sit  in  some  constraint,  talking  to 
each  other,  or  the  family,  till  Mary  Jane  returned  from 
school.  She  would  come  at  times  bolting  in,  with  hair 
uncombed,  leaving  her  sun-bonnet  and  satchel  of  books 
in    the    ante-room ;    or,    throwing    them    down    in    a    chair, 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  65 

dressed  in  plain  but  loose-cut  school-girl's  attire,  and,  en- 
tering at  once  into  general  conversation,  she  soon  had  the 
whole  attention  of  the  visitors.  Was  this  simplicity  or  the 
highest  art?  The  morning  and  the  evening  hours  of  re- 
ception were  thus  so  occupied,  that  I  had  no  opportunity 
of  saying  a  word  of  love  to  her.  I  saw  that  she  was  as 
much  attracted  by  me  as  I  was  by  her.  So  she  said  quietly 
to  me,  that  she  was  going  on  a  certain  day  hickory-nut- 
hunting  with  a  few  girls,  at  the  house  of  John  Allen,  Esq. — 
with  his  daughter — in  Fayette  County.  She  never  asked 
me  to  go;  yet  I  was  there  when  the  party  arrived. 

Now,  in  Kentucky,  hickory-nut-hunting  has  been  one  of 
the  diversions  of  the  young  folks,  rich  and  poor,  from  the 
beginning ;  and  continues  so  to  this  day,  being  one  of  the 
most  agreeable  of  picnics. 

John  Allen  was  a  typical  Kentuckian  of  those  days. 
He  had  married  my  blood-relative  through  the  Paynes — 
the  mother  of  Madison  C.  Johnson,  (my  brother-in-law, 
who  had  allied  himself  with  my  sister,  Anne,  after  the 
tragic  death  of  her  first  husband,  Edmund  Irvine,  Esq.,  of 
Madison  County,)  and  of  George  W.  Johnson,  who  was 
made  Confederate  Governor  of  Kentucky,  and  was  killed 
in  battle  during  the  Rebellion.  Allen  had,  also,  by  his 
first  wife,  a  fine  looking  and  genial  daughter,  Eliza,  and 
several  handsome  sons.  So  we  "girls  and  boys"  all  went 
a  hickory-nut-hunting. 

There  are  no  finer  forests  in  the  world  than  the  natu- 
ral parks  of  the  "Blue-grass  region"  of  Kentucky.  The 
sugar-maple,  tulip,  coffee-bean,  hickory-nut,  and  other  trees, 
were  just  touched  with  an  October  frost,  so  as  to  cause  the 
nuts  to  fall.  The  leaves  wore  that  celebrated  many-colored 
foliage  which  comes  of  the  maturity  of  the  sap,  which  is 
seen  to  such  perfection  in  no  other  portion  of  the  world. 
The  long  blue-grass,  which  turns  the  forests  into  parks, 
was  yet  green  as  in  midsummer ;  the  subdued  rays  of 
the  October  sun,  falling  with  shimmering  light  through 
the  half-nude  boughs  of  the  trees,  warmed  the  genial  air, 
Vol.  I.— 5 


66  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

and  dispelled  the  moisture  from  the  soil.  Some  birds  yet 
ventured  into  fragmentary  songs,  ere  taking  their  flight  of 
migration  further  South,  to  winter;  whilst  the  grey  squir- 
rels, with  their  long  bushy  tails  turned  over  their  backs, 
like  an  ostrich-feather  over  a  military  hat,  barked  with 
vivacity  at  the  intruders  upon  their  quiet  retreats. 

Mary  Jane,  by  all  the  standards  of  personal  description, 
was  of  medium  size.  Her  grandfather,  Barr,  was  a  native 
Irishman;  and  the  Warfields  were  a  Maryland  family  of 
fair  standing.  When  I  visited  Baltimore,  on  my  way  to 
college,  a  Miss  Warfield  was  a  leading  belle  in  polite 
society.  The  Barrs  were  fair,  but  the  Warfields  had  dark 
skins  and  hair.  She  had  the  complexion  of  her  Irish  an- 
cestors—  a  fair  smooth  skin,  at  times  touched  with  rose- 
color;  a  face  and  head  not  classical,  with  rather  broad 
jaws,  large  mouth,  flexible  lips,  rather  thin  and  deter- 
mined, but  with  outline  well  cut,  and  an  irregular  nose. 
Her  hair  was  of  a  light  auburn  or  nut-color,  long  and  lux- 
uriant. Her  eyes  were  a  light  greyish-blue,  large  and  far 
apart,  with  that  flexibility  of  the  iris  which  gives  always 
great  variety  and  intensity  of  expression.  She  was  the 
best  amateur-singer  I  ever  heard ;  and,  as  I  have  been  fa- 
miliar with  the  voices  of  Jenny  Lind,  Lucca,  Patti,  and  all 
the  most  celebrated  singers  of  my  day,  I  venture  to  say 
that  hers  was,  in  compass  and  tone,  unsurpassed.  In  dis- 
position, she  was  apparently  the  most  amiable  of  women ; 
and  basking,  as  the  sex  rarely  does,  in  the  light  of  uni- 
versal admiration,  she  might  be  said  to  be  the  impersona- 
tion, like  Calypso's  isle,  of  "eternal  springtime.  " 

One  of  the  calamities  of  civilization  is  the  deterioration 
of  the  five  senses  —  the  sight,  the  touch,  the  smell,  the 
hearing,  and  the  taste.  But,  of  all  these,  the  faculty  of 
distinguishing  odors  is  thus  the  most  impaired.  Every 
one  of  the  fauna  and  flora,  and  many  of  the  mineral 
kingdom  have  a  distinct  smell.  The  odor  of  the  horse 
is  very  disagreeable ;  but  who  has  not  read  in  poetry  (if 
not  familiar  in  fact,)  of  the  sweet  breath  of  the  ruminating 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  67 

kine?  Who  has  failed  to  observe  how  the  dog  recognizes 
the  master  more  by  the  smell  than  the  sight?  For  by  the 
sight  is  recognition,  whilst  the  smell  is  that  and  more  —  a 
source  of  pleasure.  So  the  well-cultivated  dog  hates  the 
tramp,  not  for  his  rough  dress,  but  for  his  offensive  odor. 
How  he  pushes  his  nose,  at  every  opportunity,  upon  the 
garments,  face,  and  hands,  of  his  beloved  master,  and 
touches  him  fondly  with  his  tongue!  So  bees  like  one 
and  hate  another,  no  doubt  for  the  same  reason.  Now, 
never  having  dulled  my  senses  with  tobacco,  tea  or  coffee, 
whiskey  or  opium,  and  living  much  in  the  open  air,  they 
have  ever  remained  acute.  Of  all  odors,  which  city  folks 
know  so  little,  those  of  the  wild  grape-vine,  crab-apple, 
and  the  fresh  hickory-nuts  are  the  most  delicious. 

I  sat  down  under  the  trees  on  the  long  grass;  and, 
with  two  small  stones,  easily  picked  up  in  this  limestone 
region,  I  was  hulling  the  nuts,  whilst  the  others,  with  hands 
and  handkerchiefs,  were  picking  them  up,  and  in  groups 
also  cracking  them,  carrying  and  emptying  them  into  a 
pile  near  me.  Mary  Jane,  usually  so  careless  in  her  dress, 
I  noticed  now  wore  more  costly  material,  prepared  with 
more  care,  but  all  in  admirable  taste.  Her  hair,  the  bon- 
net off,  with  exercise  having  fallen  down,  she  had  hastily 
and  loosely  adjusted.  She  came  to  me  when  the  others 
were  farthest  off,  and  busily  engaged  in  talk,  and,  picking 
up  the  nuts,  emptied  her  handkerchief  on  the  pile.  I 
said:  "Come  and  help  me."  She  replied,  with  some 
tremor  in  her  voice:  "I  have  no  seat."  Putting  my  feet 
closer  together,  as  they  were  stretched  out  on  the  ground, 
I  said:  "You  may  sit  down  here,  if  you  will  be  mine." 
She  hesitated  a  moment  (she  was  standing  near  me.  with 
her  face  in  the  same  direction),  and  then  —  down  she  came! 
brushing  my  cheek  with  her  disordered  hair,  with  the 
aroma,  sweeter  than  orange-blossoms,  of  the  hickory-nuts. 
She  just  touched  me  with  the  skirts  of  her  dress,  and  said: 
"I  am  yours."  Then  she  hurried  off  to  mingle  with  her 
companions  again.     Thus  she  attacked  nearly  all  my  senses 


68  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

at  once!  Was  it  simplicity,  or  the  highest  art?  This,  at 
all  events,  was  a  moment  of  supreme  bliss,  which  comes 
but  once  in  life,  when  the  soul  has  not  felt  the  degrading 
union  of  the  earthy  with  the  immortal,  by  which  come  sin 
and  woe  and  death  into  the  world ! 

Mrs  Allen  was  a  woman  of  superior  intellect,  very  ob- 
servant, and  much  my  friend.  When  the  city  party  had 
left,  she  called  me  aside,  and  said:  "Cousin  Cash,  I  see 
that  you  are  much  taken  with  Mary  Jane.  Don't  you 
marry  her;  dorit  you  marry  a  Warfield !  There  are  the 
Misses  M.  W— ,  E.  B— ,  C.  H— ,  and  E.  R— ,  fine  and 
cultured  women  of  large  fortunes  and  good  families,  but 
in  all  these  tilings  you  are  at  least  their  equal.  I  do  n't 
say  you  can  marry  any  one  of  them,  but  I  do  say  you  can 
marry  one  of  them,  who  will  make  you  a  good  wife,  and 
you  will  be  happy." 


CHAPTER   IV. 


Womans'  Rights.— Death  of  Dr.  J.  P.  Declarey.— Political  Life.— Elected 
to  the  Kentucky  House  of  Representatives.  —  Robert  Wickliffe.  —  I 
speak  at  Stanford,  Lincoln  County.— Fight  with  James  C.  Sprigg. — The 
Canvass  of  1841. — Duel  with  Wickliffe. — Fight  with  S.   M.   Brown,  at 

Russell's  Cave. 


MRS.  Elisha  (Maria  B.)  Warfield  was  a  fine  looking  old 
lady,  with  handsome  and  gallant  brothers.  She  as- 
sumed to  be  the  head  of  the  family,  which  her  husband 
with  good  sense  allowed  generally;  but  I  found  that,  in 
matters  of  moment,  he  came  to  the  front,  and  the  madam 
surrendered  at  discretion.  I  had  been  bred  in  a  different 
school,  where  my  father  never  appeared  to  show  authority, 
because  his  supremacy  was  never  questioned.  So  I  looked 
with  some  discontent  at  this  new  state  of  things.  There 
was  no  political  aspirations  at  that  time  toward  Womans' 
Rights,  but  in  all  these  years  I  find  no  reason  to  change 
my  views.  It  is  not  at  all  a  false  sentiment  which  places 
the  male  at  the  head  of  government,  and  the  female  de- 
pendent upon  his  superior  intellect  and  physical  strength. 
The  red-birds  which  eat  at  my  crumb-box  are  the  most 
shy  of  all  our  songsters.  The  male  enters  the  box  very 
cautiously,  takes  a  crumb,  and  feeds  his  timid  mate,  that 
sits  on  a  near  bough,  as  the  mother  would  feed  her  young. 
The  barn-yard  cock  leads  the  females  to  the  feeding- 
grounds  ;  finds  and  shares  the  food,  and  stands  forever  on 
the  watch  for  the  hawk.  He  is  never  off  guard;  but,  when 
the  enemy  appears,  he  sounds  the  alarm,  the  hens  take  at 
once  to  the  bushes,  and  he,  standing  alone,  often  defends 
himself  against  his  powerful  enemy,  or,  at  least,  sullenly 
takes  cover  when  the  last  female  is  secure.      So  the  wild 

69 


JO  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

horses  on  the  prairies,  and  the  lions  and  elephants  of  the 
African  and  Asiatic  jungles  follow  the  same  law,  and 
which  is  the  universal  law  of  animal  life.  Even  the  bees 
are  no  exception ;  for  the  queen  is  certainly  dependent 
upon  the  males  and  neuters,  and  they  do  not  at  all  lean 
upon  her.  I  believe  that  the  so-called  advance  in  civilization 
which  secures  separate  property  rights  to  women  is  a  fatal 
mistake.  It  denies  the  unity  of  interests  in  families,  breeds 
suspicion  and  war,  and  is  the  chief  cause  of  divorce,  which 
signalizes  modern  society  —  "the  cause  of  all  our  woe." 
These  evils  would  be  intensely  aggravated  by  equal  suf- 
frage, where  politics  often  leads  to  bloodshed,  by  passions 
which  would  invade  the  peace  of  every  household.  Suf- 
frage is  already  in  the  hands  of  the  ignorant  and  the 
vicious  —  a  dangerous  experiment;  and  its  extension  to 
women  would,  in  my  judgment,  but  add  fuel  to  the  fire. 

So  I  foolishly  asked  Dr.  Warfield  for  Mary  Jane's  hand, 
saying  nothing  to  her  mother.  After  a  long  time  waiting 
for  a  reply  and  receiving  none,  I  began  to  stand  upon  my 
mettle.  One  day  we  had  gone  on  horse-back  from  their 
country  residence,  the  "Meadows,"  to  Uncle  Ben.  War- 
fields',  on  an  adjoining  farm,  who  was  a  fine  old  gentle- 
man, whom  I  always  loved.  Indeed,  none  of  the  War- 
fields  of  the  old  set  were  bad  men ;  but  rather  men  of 
character  and  good  sense,  but  narrow-minded  in  political 
sentiment.  When  we  returned,  without  explanation,  I  de- 
clined to  go  in,  and  said  I  would  not  come  again ;  and 
then  I  went  back  to  Lexington.  That  evening  I  was  at 
a  private  party  of  the  elite  of  the  city,  when  a  messenger 
from  the  "Meadows"  handed  me  a  letter.  It  was  from  the 
father  only,  in  response  to  my  former  letter,  giving  me  his 
daughter.  The  letter  was  a  great  relief  to  me ;  for  it 
showed  that  I  had  rightly  divined  the  cause  of  the  delay, 
and  had  forced  an  assent  that  might  justly  be  reluctant 
on  the  part  of  Many  Jane's  mother.  I  was  all  the  more 
rejoiced,  because  I  felt  that  I  had  escaped,  I  knew  not  by 
what  distance,  from  a  pit-fall  of  my  own  digging. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  J\ 

A  few  days  before  my  marriage,  my  mother-in-law,  Mrs. 
Maria  Barr  Warfield,  handed  me  an  open  letter  addressed 
to  her  daughter,  my  fiancee,  but  placed  in  her  own  hands 
by  General  Leslie  Combs,  a  friend  of  the  family.  Declarey 
was  a  very  popular  physician  of  Louisville,  Kentucky,  and 
was  a  suitor  also  of  Mary  Jane  Warfield.  The  letter  was 
depreciatory  of  my  character,  though  containing  nothing  of 
serious  allegation  against  me.  It  should  have  been  thrown 
into  the  fire,  and  nothing  shown  to  me.  But,  as  the  matter 
stood,  I  felt  not  only  indignant  at  such  secret  and  ungentle- 
manly  conduct,  but  was  compelled  by  a  sense  of  honor  to 
vindicate  myself.  So,  taking  my  "best  man,"  James  S.  Rol- 
lins, with  me,  I  went  to  Louisville,  procured  a  small  black 
hickory  stick,  and,  finding  Declarey  at  the  Louisville  hotel 
steps,  I  invited  him  into  the  cross  street;  and  showing  him 
the  letter,  which  he  read,  I  asked  him  if  he  had  any  expla- 
nations or  apology  to  make.  He  remained  silent.  So  I 
caned  him  severely — Rollins  keeping  the  crowd  off  till  he 
was  sufficiently  punished.  Then,  telling  him  that  I  would 
be  found  at  his  hotel,  where  the  event  occurred,  I  retired 
with  Rollins  to  my  room.  In  a  few  hours  I  received  a 
challenge  from  Declarey,  which  I  promptly  accepted.  De- 
clarey was  about  ten  years  older  than  myself,  and  of  my 
own  size  in  weight  and  stature,  whilst  his  reputation  for 
courage  stood  high.  The  terms  were  soon  arranged.  We 
were  to  meet  next  day  in  Indiana,  near  the  Ohio  River,  at 
a  named  place  and  hour.  Both  parties  were  promptly  on 
the  ground.  But  the  news  had  spread,  and  a  large  crowd 
was  already  there,  and  more  persons  continually  coming; 
so  that  all  parties  agreed  to  defer  the  meeting  to  a  more 
favorable  time  and  place — first,  on  the  same  side  of  the 
river,  and  that  failing  also,  we  returned  to  Louisville,  it 
being  nearly  dark  on  our  arrival  there.  I  was  to  be  mar- 
ried the  next  evening;  and  Lexington,  in  those  days,  by 
stage,  was  a  whole  day's  journey  away.  Declarey's  friends 
proposed  finally  to  set  first  the  next  day  for  a  meeting, 
and  then  to  fight  in   the   city  that  night;  all  of  which  my 


72  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

friend  Rollins  peremptorily  refused.  Declarey  was  in  his 
own  home ;  was  then,  I  think,  a  member  of  the  Kentucky 
Legislature,  or,  at  least,  had  been.  He  had,  as  followers, 
a  large  number  of  roughs,  as  a  matter  of  course ;  and  if 
it  was  not  fair  to  ask  of  me  a  fight  in  the  day-time,  it  was 
more  unfair  to  ask  a  fight  in  the  city  at  night,  when  secrecy 
would  be  impossible.  We  had  given  them  a  fair  chance  for 
a  fight;  and  if  the  crowd  prevented  it,  it  was  Declarey's 
crowd.  Rollins  and  myself  had  hardly  an  acquaintance  in 
the  city  at  that  time.  Louisville  was  provincial  in  com- 
parison with  Lexington,  and  Rollins  and  myself  were 
strangers  there.  If  the  time  and  place  of  the  fight  were 
known,  it  could  not  have  been  the  fault  of  our  side.  For 
a  man  to  leave  a  newly-married  wife  to  return  to  fight  her 
rejected  suitor  was  too  absurd  for  even  the  fool-code.  So 
Rollins  gave  notice  that  we  would  leave  for  Lexington  by 
stage  next  morning;  and,  all  negotiations  being  at  an  end, 
Declarey  had  his  usual  right  of  offensive  attack  in  personal 
rencounter.  The  next  day  Rollins  and  I,  no  attack  being 
made,  took  the  stage ;  and  it  was  quite  late  in  the  night 
before  we  reached  the  "Meadows,"  where  I  was  duly  mar- 
ried. Declarey,  my  friends  wrote  me,  denounced  me  as  a 
coward,  and  said  I  was  beneath  his  notice ;  that  he  would 
not  pursue  me  to  Lexington,  but,  if  ever  he  met  me  in 
life,  he  would  "cowhide  me."  Now,  the  cowhide  was  a 
whip  made  of  twisted  raw  cowhide,  and  was  used  to  punish 
slaves  in  all  the  South ;  and  whilst  the  cane  could  be  used 
without  utter  disgrace,  to  be  "  cowhided "  was  a  doom  of 
eternal  infamy,  which  nothing  but  blood  could  wash  away! 
So  run  the  laws  of  the  fool-code. 

Mrs.  Warfield,  when  the  Declarey  affair  had  concluded, 
did  nothing  to  aggravate  the  situation ;  but,  as  time  wore 
on,  Mrs.  Allen's  warning  words  for  the  first  time  beo-an  to 
impress  themselves  upon  my  memory,  and  I  had  a  sus- 
picion that  madam  was  thus  willing  to  avenge  her  wounded 
pride.  So  the  matter  did  not  rest  there ;  and  I  determined 
to  give  Declarey  a  full  test  of  his  manhood.     So  I  set  off, 


A 


OF  CASSIUS    MARCELLUS  CLAY.  73 

ostensibly  for  Cincinnati  and  St.  Louis;  and,  after  spend- 
ing a  very  agreeable  time  with  my  friends,  the  Longworths 
and  others,  at  Cincinnati,  and  visiting  my  wife's  connec- 
tions, the  Strothers,  in  St.  Louis,  I  came  to  my  point  of 
issue,  Louisville.  Taking  lodgings  elsewhere,  about  din- 
ner-time I  sauntered  down  alone  to  Declarey's  hotel.  Not 
finding  him  at  table,  I  asked  the  servants  about  his  habits, 
and  they  told  me  that  he  was  irregular  in  his  hours ;  but 
that  he  would  no  doubt  drop  in  very  soon  after  dinner,  as 
was  his  custom  when  he  missed  the  regular  hour.  So, 
being  well  armed,  I  lounged  about  the  hotel  till  I  sup- 
posed he  might  have  arrived.  The  dining-room  had  a 
large  colonnade,  as  was  then  the  custom  in  the  building 
of  large  rooms.  I  was  leaning  alone  against  one  of  these, 
when  Declarey,  having  entered  and  finished  his  meal,  rose 
up,  and  for  the  first  time  saw  me.  I  had  my  eyes  fixed 
steadily  upon  him.  He  turned  pale,  and  retreated  without 
addressing  me.  I  staid  in  Louisville  for  a  day  or  more ; 
and,  Declarey  making  no  demonstrations,  I  returned  to 
Lexington.  The  next  day  in  the  evening,  he  committed 
suicide,  by  cutting  his  arteries.  "Thus  doth  conscience 
make  cowards  of  us  all."  Mrs.  Warfield's  imprudence  — 
if  nothing  worse  —  caused  the  death  of  this  man;  and  also 
sowed  the  seeds  of  alienation  and  distrust  in  her  own 
household,  which  in  time  bore  fruit. 

To_nrepare  mvself  for  political  life,  which  was  con- 
genial  to  my  taste,  I  studied  law  in  the  Transylvania  Law 
School,  after  my  return  from  Yale,  but  never  took  out 
license  to  practice.  As  soon  as  I  was  eligible,  in  1835, 
I  was  chosen  a  member  of  the  Kentucky  House  of  Rep- 
resentatives, from  Madison  County.  I  was  beaten  the  next 
year,  on  account  of  my  vote  for  internal  improvements. 
But  I  was  returned  in  1837  with  an  increased  vote.  This 
was  a  tobacco-raising  county  at  that  time ;  and  an  old 
cynic,  whom  Bingham  has  made  noted  in  the  "  County 
Election,"  as  one  of  his  group  of  characters,  said  they 
must  "top  me,  and  then  let  me  spread."     So  they  topped 


74  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

me  in  1836;  but  the  same  cultivators  of  the  plant  never 
liked  me  any  the  better  after  the  topping  than  before. 
Such  is  poor  human  nature  —  to  pull  down  all  who  aspire 
to  ascend  higher  than  themselves. 

Having  served  two  years  in  the  Legislature,  in  which 
I  began  to  develop  my  opposition  to  slavery,  the  slave- 
power,  under  the  call  of  Robert  Wickliffe,  of  Fayette 
County,  and  father  of  my  school-mate,  Howard  Wickliffe, 
the  then  largest  slave-holder  in  the  State,  commenced  the 
agitation  of  slavery  against  the  Liberals ;  first  through  the 
press,  and  then  against  myself  and  Robert  J.  Breckinridge 
upon  the  stump.  These  movements  were,  of  course, 
against  me,  as  Breckinridge  had  retired  from  the  field  of 
politics,  and  taken  refuge  in  the  Church.  So,  as  my  family 
disliked  country  life,  I  determined  on  Lexington  as  a 
residence  —  a  more  central  place.  I  there  moved  my 
headquarters  —  retaining  my  house  and  lands  in  Madison 
County ;  and  there  made  my  home,  by  purchasing  the 
Morton  residence  and  grounds  —  the  most  elegant  in  the 
city. 

I  became  once  more  a  candidate,  in  1840,  for  the 
Legislature.  Fayette  then  returned  three  members  —  two 
of  the  candidates,  Curd  and  Curl,  were  my  friends;  so 
the  contest  fell  between  me  and  Robert  Wickliffe,  jr.,  the 
son  of  Robert  Wickliffe.  Young  Wickliffe  was  a  man  of 
fine  stature  and  intellect,  and  well  educated  at  the  best 
schools  of  the  nation.  He  was  of  equal  fortune  with  my- 
self, or,  at  least,  his  father  could  make  him  so;  and  he 
was  then  the  only  living  son.  Thus  was  made  up  one 
of  the  most  exciting  canvasses  that  Fayette  had  witnessed 
for  many  years.  But  I,  a  new  comer,  triumphed  ;  my  two 
friends,  Messrs  Clayton  Curl  and  John  Curd,  being  also 
tlected  with  me. 

So  far  I  had  made  a  good  start  in  my  chosen  career; 
for,  at  the  last  session  in  which  I  served,  my  friends  said 
that,  if  I  would  refuse  to  go  into  caucus,  the  Democrats,  I 
being   a   Whig,    would    elect   me    Speaker   of   the    House. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  75 

This  was  very  flattering;  but,  after  mature  thought,  I  con- 
cluded it  would  be  better  in  the  long  run  to  stand  by  the 
usages  ol  the  party,  than  to  gratify  the  desire  for  a  tem- 
porary honor.  So,  of  course,  my  opponent,  Charles  More- 
head,  afterward  Governor  of  the  State,  was  chosen  by  the 
caucus,  and  elected  speaker;  he  being  an  old  politician, 
and  a  citizen  of  Frankfort  —  the  seat  of  government. 

I  have  never  been  an  admirer  of  military  generals. 
Those  who  have  built  up,  not  those  who  have  destroyed 
the  nations,  have  with  me  ever  been  the  heroes.  When 
generals  have  led  the  way  to  the  liberty  and  development 
of  the  resources  of  a  people,  certainly  the  patriotic  leader 
deserves  the  admiration  and  gratitude  of  mankind.  My 
reputation  as  a  "fighting  man,"  as  the  phrase  goes,  I 
have  never  gloried  in.  On  the  contrary,  it  has  always 
been  a  source  of  annoyance  to  me ;  overshadowing  that 
to  which  I  most  aspired  —  a  high  and  self-sacrificing  moral 
courage  —  where  the  mortal  was  to  be  sacrificed  to  the 
immortal.  And,  after  a  calm  review  of  my  whole  life, 
I  can  truly  say  that  I  have  never  acted  on  the  offensive ; 
but  have  confined  myself  by  will  and  act  to  the  defensive. 
The  case  of  T — ,  in  St.  Joseph's  College,  was  only  an 
apparent  exception;  for  there  I  was  at  my  own  risk  de- 
fending the  rights  of  others  —  the  weak  against  the  strong. 
Courage,  by  a  wise  law  of  nature,  is  of  great  worth,  in 
the  preservation  of  the  State,  the  family,  and  the  indi- 
vidual person;  but  it  too  often  degenerates  into  offensive 
brutality,  and  then  it  is  more  a  vice  than  a  virtue.  How 
often  have  I  been  mortified  at  the  vulgar  view  taken  of 
my  moral  action.  When  John  G.  Fee  was  maltreated 
/and  driven  by  violence  from  preaching  near  Crab  Orchard, 
in  Lincoln  County,  because  he  opposed  slavery,  I  made 
an  appointment  to  speak  in  the  same  place  myself  on 
the  slavery  issue.  If  we  were  not  allowed  to  speak  freely 
according  to  our  constitutional  rights,  our  whole  scheme 
for  emancipation  failed.  I  therefore  felt  that  it  was  neces- 
sary to  set  my  life  upon  the  cast  of  the  die.     And  there, 


j6  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

surrounded  by  armed  followers,  I  took  the  ground  which 
was  much  commented  upon,  and  noted  in  the  nation. 
The  legend  goes,  and  was  so  illustrated  by  an  engraving, 
that  I  placed  a  pistol  on  the  book-board,  and  a  Bible  by 
its  side,  saying:  "For  those  who  obey  the  rules  of  right, 
and  the  sacred  truths  of  the  Christian  religion,  I  appeal 
to  this  Book ;  and  to  those  who  only  recognize  the  law 
of  force,  here  is  my  defense,"  laying  my  hand  upon  my 
pistol.  Thus  related,  it  would  seem  that  I  had  made  a 
prepared  and  threatened  exhibition  of  my  courage  and 
prowess,  when,  in  fact,  I  was  exerting  all  my  powers  of 
appeal  and  argument  to  avoid  a  conflict;  for  such  avoid- 
ance was  victory.  Had  I  laid  my  pistol  on  the  book- 
board,  some  enemy  was  most  likely  to  seize  it.  I  had 
my  carpet-bag  with  my  arms  and  notes,  as  usual,  at  my 
feet,  unseen ;  and  the  Bible  on  the  board  was  always  left 
there  in  the  country  meeting-houses. 

Again,  as  the  slave-power  of  Lincoln,  in  meeting  at 
the  county  capital,  Stanford,  had  passed  resolutions  threat- 
ening with  death  the  discussion  of  the  slavery  question  — 
more  in  reference  to  myself  than  to  Fee  —  I  at  once  made 
an  appointment  to  speak  in  Stanford.  This,  silly  people 
thought,  was  useless  bravado.  But  our  strength  was  a 
moral  strength,  and  must  rest,  like  physical  battles,  upon 
successful  defense.  No  body  knew  this  better  than  the 
slave-holders.  So,  as  they  had  made  an  issue  with  both 
Fee  and  myself,  they  saw  that  they  had  placed  themselves 
in  a  fatal  position ;  that  if  I  spoke  with  safety,  their  policy 
of  intimidation  was  broken  forever;  and  the  boldest  of 
them  feared  the  result,  in  a  commonwealth  where  so  small 
a  portion  of  the  voters  were  slave-holders,  if  I  was  put 
to  death  in  the  exercise  of  admitted  constitutional  rights. 
They,  therefore,  knowing  that  I  would  speak  or  die,  sent 
a  committee  of  their  most  prominent  men  from  Lincoln  to 
my  house,  thirty  miles  away,  with  instructions  to  approach 
me  in  a  friendly  spirit,  and  advise  me  of  the  dangers  of 
my  attempt.      I   received   the   committee  with    cordiality  at 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  *]>] 

my  own  house,  where  I  now  write;  and,  after  hearing 
them  with  respectful  attention,  I  said:  "Gentlemen,  say 
to  your  friends,  that  I  appreciate  their  kindness  in  send- 
ing you  to  advise  with  me;  but,  God  willing,  I  shall 
speak  in  Stanford  on  the  day  named."  So,  as  I  foresaw, 
there  was  a  square  division  of  opinion  on  the  part  of  my 
opponents;  whilst  my  friends  were  solid.  The  upshot  was 
that  the  court-house,  being  one  of  the  largest  in  the  State, 
was  crowded  to  overflowing.  The  excitement  was  intense, 
but  I  was  heard  without  a  single  interruption.  This  was 
a  signal  victory  to  me  and  my  cause;  for,  if  I  was  vic- 
torious in  the  blue-grass  region,  the  very  stronghold  of 
slavery,  I  might  claim  an  easy  triumph  elsewhere. 

It  was  in  the  same  court-house,  in  1872,  that  I  made 
my  speech  in  favor  of  the  autonomy  of  the  States,  by  the 
invitation  of  the  same  men,  where  I  was  received  with 
unbounded  enthusiasm.  The  Cincinnati  Commercial,  and 
other  leading  journals  of  all  parties,  sent  their  reporters ; 
and  my  speech,  like  most  of  my  efforts  in  oratory,  as  re- 
ported and  unrevised,  will  be  published  in  my  "  Writings 
and  Speeches." 

So  long  as  my  noble  friend,  Fee,  stood  on  constitu- 
tional ground  with  myself,  he  shared  my  security;  but, 
when  he  followed  the  Abolition  idea  of  ignoring  the  Con- 
stitution, and  was  reinforced  by  adventurers  using  force 
also,  he  and,  I  believe,  forty  persons  were  driven  by  vio- 
lence from  Berea.  It  was  claimed  by  Fee's  enemies  at 
the  time,  that  I  approved,  or,  at  least,  assented  to,  this 
course ;  all  of  which  was  untrue.  Fee  voluntarily  took 
his  own  ground,  and  I  took  mine.  To  have  followed  him 
would  have  been  disastrous  to  my  life,  and  those  of  my 
followers.  He  was  at  first  a  non-resistant ;  but,  further 
along,  allowed  his  friends  to  use  force.  I  had  determined 
to  stand  and  defend  my  position  to  the  death.  Time 
proved  that  I  was  right. 

So  "  revenons  a  nos  motdons" — the  fight  with  Sprigg. 
I  give  these  accounts  because  all   such  have  been  misrep- 


yS  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS^    AND    SPEECHES 

resented  by  friends  and   foes;   and  my  object  is  to  simply 
set  forth  the  facts. 

When  I  was  in  the  Legislature  of  Kentucky,  Sprigg 
was  an  old  representative  from  Shelby  County  —  "a  good 
fellow,"  as  the  phrase  goes,  but  quite  quarrelsome,  and  the 
hero  of  many  fights.  He  seemed  to  think  himself  called 
upon  to  have  a  "muss"  with  me  especially.  For,  as  my 
mother  says  in  one  of  her  letters  to  me,  I  was  not  always 
mild  in  my  mode  of  statement.  Some  words  passed  in 
the  House,  and  it  was  thought  that  Sprigg  would  chal- 
lenge me.  As  other  fights  of  mine  were  tragic,  so  this 
one  was  quite  comic.  Sprigg  was  a  dear  lover  of  the 
State  beverage — "old  Bourbon" — which,  as  elsewhere, 
here  was  apt  to  loosen  the  tongue.  So,  on  one  occasion, 
he  revealed  to  me,  confidentially,  how  he  had  always  been 
triumphant  in  personal  rencounters.  He  approached  his 
antagonist,  when  a  fight  was  inevitable,  in  a  mild  and 
conciliatory  manner,  dealt  him  a  sharp  blow,  and  followed 
that  up  with  unrelenting  severity  till  he  was  whipped. 
"Thus,"  said  he,  "size  and  strength  amount  to  nothing 
against  mind!"  Sprigg  had  no  doubt  forgotten  that  he 
had  ever  revealed  to  me  his  system  of  tactics.  So,  when 
the  House  adjourned,  as  we  both  boarded  at  the  same 
hotel,  and  the  weather  was  cool,  I  found  Sprigg  sitting 
on  the  far  side  of  the  fire-grate,  and  several  members  of 
the  Legislature  present  in  the  same  room.  As  soon  as 
Sprigg,  who  was  evidently  awaiting  my  arrival,  saw  me, 
he  advanced  past  all  these  gentlemen  toward  me,  with 
a  pleasant  look,  without  speaking.  I  remembered  his 
methods ;  and,  when  he  got  within  reach,  without  a  word 
on  either  side,  I  gave  him  a  severe  blow  in  the  face,  and 
brought  him  staggering  to  the  floor.  As  fast  as  he  would 
rise  —  for  I  played  with  him  as  a  cat  with  a  mouse  —  I 
repeated  my  blows ;  allowing  him  always  to  rise,  as  I  felt 
myself  greatly  an  overmatch  for  him,  and  would  not  strike 
him  when  down.  When  the  bystanders  saw  the  unequal 
fight,  and  felt  that  Sprigg,  who  was  a  notorious  bully,  was 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  79 

fully  punished,  one  of  them  caught  him  by  the  coat-tail 
(fine  delicate  broad-cloth  was  then  fashionable),  and  tear- 
ing his  coat  to  the  very  collar,  pulled  him  away;  and 
thus  ended  the  set-to.  The  upshot  was  that  Sprigg,  the 
aggressor,  was  severely  punished  —  eyes  blacked,  nose 
bleeding,  and  coat  torn;  whilst  I  stood  smiling,  without  a 
touch. 

Sprigg  laid  by  for  several  days;  and  all  thought  now, 
at  least,  a  duel  was  inevitable.  After  a  while  he  ventured 
out,  with  his  eyes  marked  with  wide  black  rings.  Ap- 
proaching me,  smiling,  with  outstretched  hand  to  show 
peace,  he  said:  "Clay,  old  fellow,  here's  my  hand.  I 
taught  you  my  tactics,  and  you  have  beaten  your  master 
at  his  own  game."  Of  course,  I  accepted  his  hand,  and 
we  remained  good  friends.  Poor  Sprigg!  he  was  elected 
to  Congress  —  that  school  of  demoralization  —  still  patron- 
ized "old  Bourbon;"  and,  in  a  fight  with  an  Irishman, 
lost  his  eye,  or  his  nose,  I  do  not  remember  which,  and 
that  was  the  last  I  have  ever  heard  of  him. 

In  the  meantime  I  was  chosen  delegate  of  my  Con- 
gressional District,  including  Madison,  my  old  county,  to 
represent  the  Whigs  in  the  National  Convention,  held  at 
Harrisburg,  Pennsylvania,  in  1839-40.  I  was,  of  course, 
with  all  my  State,  in  favor  of  my  friend  and  kinsman, 
Henry  Clay,  for  President.  But  Gen.  Wm.  H.  Harrison 
was  made  the  nominee,  with  John  Tyler,  of  Virginia,  as 
vice-presidential  candidate ;  and  the  nomination  was  made 
unanimous.  Here  I  first  saw  Horace  Greeley,  with  whom, 
in  after-life,  I  became  so  intimately  associated.  He  had 
not 'then  reached  distinction;  but  I  shall  ever  remember 
his  large  head,  thinly  covered  with  auburn  hair,  approach- 
ing white,  and  his  boyish,  innocent-looking,  and  amiable 
face,  which  indicated  genius  and  great  simplicity  of  char- 
acter. Thaddeus  Stevens  was  also  a  delegate  from  his 
district,  in  Pennsylvania,  and  made  quite  an  impression 
upon  the  Convention  with  one  of  his  characteristic,  bold 
speeches,  such   as   made   him   famous   in   the   chaotic  times 

I      • 


80  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

of  the  Civil  War,  and  pushed  him  to  the  front  as  the 
leader  of  the  war-party. 

I  did  my  part  in  the  canvass  for  Harrison ;  and,  in  due 
time,  began  my  home-fight  with  Wickliffe.  By  reference  to 
my  speeches  in  the  pending  session  of  the  Kentucky  Legis- 
lature, it  will  be  seen  that  I  was  drawn  into  open  war 
with  the  slave-power.  They  knew  their  strength,  and  wisely 
determined  to  crush  all  liberal  thought  in  word,  or  pro- 
gression in  action,  in  the  bud. 

Robert  J.  Breckenridge,  as  I  said,  had  already  fallen  in 
this  cause,  and  been  driven  into  the  Church.  J.  G.  Birney 
had  been  forced  by  violence  from  Danville  into  the  free 
State  of  Ohio ;  and  Dr.  Lewis  Marshall,  the  father  of 
Thomas  F.  Marshall,  and  brother  of  Humphrey  Marshall, 
who  had  the  duel  with  Henry  Clay,  and  others,  had  either 
died,  been  silenced,  or  exiled  from  the  State.  And  they 
thought  to  make  short  work  of  me,  also.  But  the  sequel 
shows  they  were  doomed  themselves.  So  I  entered  the 
canvass  with  the  Patrick  Henry  flag  flying ;  and  on  every 
stump  boldly  denounced  slavery  to  the  death. 

Mr.  Clay  had  voted  for  me  in  the  last  election,  and 
voted  for  me  again ;  but,  before  I  was  again  a  candidate, 
he  very  frankly  told  me  he  thought  it  best  to  give  way 
for  the  present,  and  await  a  more  favorable  time.  This  I 
respectfully  considered ;  but  I  saw  that  the  time  for  pru- 
dent attack  would  never  come;  and  that  with  me,  at  least, 
in  was  now  or  never  —  now  and  forever!  The  habit  was 
with  "the  boys,"  with  whom  I  was  the  favorite,  to  make 
torch-light  processions,  as  a  show  of  strength ;  and  the 
slave-party  imitated  our  example.  The  greatest  slave- 
holders from  town  and  country  came  to  Lexington  and 
joined  the  processions.  Inflammatory  speeches  were  made 
on  their  part,  and  met  with  equal  force  on  ours.  So 
that,  at  length,  Wickliffe  introduced  my  wife's  name  in  a 
speech,  to  which  I  took  exception  as  inadmissible ;  and  I 
challenged  him.  We  met  near  Louisville.  Col.  Wm.  R. 
McKee,    who   fell    at    Buena  Vista,    was    my  second;    and 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  8 1 

Albert  Sidney  Johnston,  who  fell  at  Shiloh,  when  Grant 
had  retired  for  security  under  his  gun-boats,  and  the 
Union  cause  was  saved  by  Generals  Buell  and  Nelson,  was 
Wickliffe's.  Dr.  Alexander  Marshall,  brother  of  Thomas 
F.,  was  my  surgeon;  and  I  do  not  remember,  but  I  think, 
Dr.  Caldwell  was  the  surgeon  of  Wickliffe.  We  fired  at 
ten  paces,  at  the  word;  and  both  missed.  Raising  my 
pistol  up  perpendicularly,  I  stood  still,  and  demanded  a 
second  fire.  But  the  good  sense  of  our  seconds  prevailed, 
and  it  was  decreed  that  the  matter  should  be  dropped. 
No  apology  was  made  on  either  side,  and  no  reconcilia- 
tion was  proposed;  and  we  left  the  ground  enemies,  as 
we  came. 

At  that  time  I  was  young,  but  I  knew  full  well  that 
the  least  show  of  the  "white  feather"  was  not  only  polit- 
ical but  physical  death.  So  it  was  with  me  here,  rather 
policy  than  impulse.  I  wanted  to  show  those  who  lived 
by  force,  that  it  would  be  met,  at  all  times,  and  in  all 
places,  with  force.  But  the  occasion  and  its  effects  are 
numbered  with  the  past.  And  I  now  do  Wickliffe  the 
justice  to  say  that  he  was  a  gallant  fellow ;  and  I  regret 
that  I  ever  did  so  foolish  a  thing.  And  the  not  being 
satisfied  with  a  shot  which  covered  the  point  of  honor 
would  have  brought  upon  me  the  ridicule  of  a  fight  upon 
such  frivolous  grounds,  but  for  the  one  mistake. 

We  were  all  young  together;  but  by  his  leaving  the 
field,  under  a  renewed  call  for  a  fire,  I  had  Wickliffe  in  a 
bad  position.  Though  I  believe  he  would  have  stood  again 
if  so  advised.  I  think  McKee  and  Johnston  saw  the  folly 
of  further  results  —  I  being  a  married  man,  and  Wickliffe 
being  single  —  that  their  motives  were  right,  but  their 
course  hasty,  so  far  as  Wickliffe  was  concerned.  So, 
although  I  was  in  the  wrong,  and,  had  the  duel  resulted 
otherwise,  would  have  been  worsted  by  it,  I  was  rather 
helped  in  the  canvass,  instead  of  losing  ground.  The 
upshot  was,  that  I  was  victor  in  the  legal  votes,  but 
beaten  by  unfair  judges  and  corrupt  methods ;  having  all 
Vol.  I.— 6 


82  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

the  judges  and  all  the  officers  of  the  election  against  me. 
Nothing  daunted,  I  looked  sternly  ahead,  kept  my  friends 
well  together,  and  awaited  events. 

The  result  of  the  duel  convinced  me  of  the  absurdity 
of  the  whole  thing.  Besides,  my  time  was  too  important 
to  lose  it  in  such  trifles ;  and,  as  I  had  reason  to  believe 
that  many  fools  would  be  continually  challenging  me,  I 
determined  to  have  no  more  of  them.  I  so  gave  out ; 
but  I  resolved  to  defend  myself  if  attacked,  as  I  had  oc- 
casion to  do  afterward  —  standing  upon  the  great  law  of 
self-preservation  and  legal  self-defense.  A  duel  might 
result  in  but  little  or  no  bodily  harm;  but  a  rencounter 
with  me  meant  death  to  one  or  the  other  party.  And  so 
no  man  has  better  illustrated  Shakespeare's 

"Thrice  armed  is  he  who  hath  his  quarrel  just." 

Robert  Wickliffe,  jr.,  having  now  an  open  field,  became 
the  candidate  the  next  year  for  the  National  House  of 
Representatives  —  Garrett  Davis  of  Bourbon  being  the  op- 
position candidate.  Henry  Clay  having  voted  for  me  two 
successive  times  against  Wickliffe  (for  Clay  always  voted), 
and  his  avowed  sentiments  on  the  slavery  question,  had 
alienated  some  of  his  old  followers  from  his  leadership. 
So  R.  Wickliffe,  sr.,  and  his  son,  now  headed  a  new  fac- 
tion. Of  course,  what  influence  I  had  with  my  compact 
body  of  personal  friends  —  among  laboring  men  mostly  — 
went  with  me  for  Davis.  Wickliffe,  in  canvassing,  was  in 
the  habit  of  reading  a  "hand-bill"  in  his  own  behalf, 
without  naming  another  "hand-bill"  which  refuted  his 
friend's  statement.  In  Garrett  Davis's  absence,  I  took 
the  liberty  to  interrupt  him,  and,  by  his  permission,  to  say: 
"That  hand-bill,"  which  he  had  just  read,  "was  proven 
untrue  by  another  of  good  authority."  He  then  would  re- 
sume his  remarks.  After  this  had  occurred  several  times, 
he  sent  for  Samuel  M.  Brown,  late  of  New  Orleans,  who 
was  post-office  traveling-agent  under  Charles  A.  Wickliffe, 
his    relative,    then    Postmaster-General    under   John    Tyler. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  83 

Brown   was  soon  on  the  ground.     He  was  an  old  Whig, 
of  social    character,    strong    physique,    and,    in    a   word,    a 
political  bully.     He   it  was  who   had   the   fight  with  Thos. 
Moore,    the     Democratic     Congressman    at     Harrodsburg; 
and  of  whom   it   was   said  that  he  had   "forty  fights,   and 
never    lost    a    battle."       At    Russell's    Cave,    in    Fayette 
County,    when    Mr.   Wickliffe    repeated    the    usual    role,    I 
interrupted  him  again,   as  before,   saying:   "That  hand-bill 
has  been  proven  untrue."     At  the    moment,    Brown  gave 
me  the  "damned  lie,"  and  struck  me  simultaneously  with 
his   umbrella.       I    knew    the    man,    and    that    it    meant    a 
death-struggle.       I    at    once    drew    my    Bowie-knife ;    but, 
before    I    could    strike,    I    was    seized    from    behind,    and 
borne  by  force  about  fifteen  feet  from   Brown,  who,  being 
now    armed    with    a    Colt's    revolver,    cried:     "Clear    the 
way,  and   let  me   kill  the  damned  rascal."      The  way  was 
speedily    cleared,    and    I    stood    isolated    from    the    crowd. 
Now,   as    Brown    had    his    pistol    bearing   upon   me,    I   had 
either  to    run    or  advance.       So,  turning    my  left    side    to- 
ward him,  with   my  left  arm  covering   it,  so  as  to  protect 
it    to    that    extent,    I    advanced    rapidly    on    him,    knife    in 
hand.       Seeing    I    was    coming,    he    knew    very    well    that 
nothing  but  a  fatal  and  sudden  shot  could  save  him.     So 
he  held  his  fire ;  and,  taking  deliberate  aim,  just  as  I  was 
in  arm's  reach,  he  fired  at  my  heart.     I  came  down  upon 
his  head  with  a  tremendous   blow,  which  would  have  split 
open  an  ordinary  skull ;  but  Brown's  was  as  thick  as  that 
of  an  African.     This  blow  laid  his  skull  open  about  three 
inches    to    the    brain,    indenting    it,    but    not    breaking    the 
textures ;  but  it  so  stunned  him  that  he  was  no  more  able 
to  fire,  but   feebly  attempted   to  seize   me.     The   conspira- 
tors now  seized  me,  and  held  both  arms  above  my  elbows, 
which    only   allowed    me    to    strike    with    the    fore-arm,    as 
Brown  advanced  upon  me.     I  was  also  struck  with  hickory 
sticks  and  chairs.     But,   finding  I  was  likdy  to  get  loose, 
they  threw  Brown  over  the  stone-fence.     This  fence,  which 
inclosed  the  yard  near  the  steep  descent  to  the  cave  and 


84  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

spring,  was  built  of  limestone,  about  two  feet  high  on  the 
upper  side,  but  perhaps  seven  or  eight  on  the  lower  side. 
So  Brown  had  a  terrible  fall,  which  ended  the  contest. 

Raising  my  bloody  knife,  I  said:  "I  repeat  that  the 
hand-bill  was  proven  a  falsehood ;  and  I  stand  ready  to  de- 
fend the  truth."  But,  neither  Mr.  Wickliffe  nor  any  of  the 
conspirators  taking  up  my  challenge,  some  of  my  friends, 
recovering  from  their  lethargy,  took  me  by  the  arm  (see- 
ing where  Brown's  bullet  had  entered,)  to  the  dwelling- 
house  ;  and,  on  opening  my  vest  and  shirt-bosom,  found 
only  a  red  spot  over  my  heart,  but  no  wound.  On  exam- 
ination it  was  found  that  the  ball,  as  I  pulled  up  the  scab- 
bard of  my  Bowie-knife,  in  drawing  the  blade,  had  entered 
the  leather  near  the  point,  which  was  lined  with  silver,  and 
was  there  lodged. 

Thus  Providence,  or  fate,  reserved  me  for  a  better  work. 
And  when  I  look  back  to  my  many  escapes  from  death,  I 
am  at  times  impressed  with  the  idea  of  the  special  inter- 
ference of  God  in  the  affairs  of  men ;  whilst  my  cooler 
reason  places  human  events  in  that  equally  certain  arrange- 
ment of  the  great  moral  and  physical  laws,  by  which  Deity 
may  be  said  to  be  ever  directing  the  affairs  of  men.  Cer- 
tain it  is  that  he  who  stands  on  the  right  may  often  hold 
his  own  against  hosts  in  arms. 

Afterward,  I  happened  to  be  at  the  Bourbon  Agricul- 
tural Fair,  of  which  my  brother,  Brutus  J.,  was  president. 
Several  hundred  gamblers  had  gathered  in  mass  in  the 
immense  amphitheater,  and  interrupted  the  show  by  call- 
ing to  the  judges.  The  directory  ordered  the  ribbons  to 
be  omitted,  so  that  no  bets  could  be  determined.  Where- 
upon the  roughs,  headed  by  a  noted  bully,  cried  out : 
"Close  the  doors,  and  stop  the  fair;"  and,  at  the  same 
time,  made  a  rush  toward  the  entering  doors.  As  the 
mob  advanced,  I  said:  "This  ground  belongs  to  the  cor- 
porators. I  stand  in  defense  of  their  legal  rights.  I  dare 
any  man   to   touch   the   doors."      They  were   not  touched. 


OF  CASSIUS   MARCELLUS  CLAY.  85 

Brown  had  his  skull  cut  to  the  brain  in  several  places ; 
one  ear  cut  nearly  off,  his  nose  slit,  and  one  eye  cut  out ; 
and  many  other  wounds.  Had  the  rencounter  taken  place 
between  two  ordinary  citizens,  no  notice  whatever  would 
have  been  taken  of  it  by  the  grand  jury;  but,  as  I  was 
odious  to  the  slave-holders,  they  improved  all  the  chances 
to  weaken  and  ruin  me.  I  was  indicted  for  mayhem. 
Henry  Clay  and  John  Speed  Smith  were  my  counsel  and 
defenders ;  both  volunteering  their  services.  Brown,  out- 
raged at  his  being  thrown  over  the  fence,  and  deserted, 
was  my  principal  witness.  He  proved  that  there  was  a 
consultation  at  Ashton's  (hotel-keeper,)  between  himself, 
Wickliffe,  Prof.  J.  C.  Cross  of  the  Transylvania  Medical 
School,  Jacob  Ashton,  and  Ben.  Wood,  a  police  bully;  that 
the  pistol  with  which  I  was  shot  was  loaded  in  advance ; 
that  he  was  to  bring  on  the  affray,  and  they  were  to  aid ; 
that  they  four  went  in  the  same  hack  to  Russell's  Cave, 
and  there  all  took  part  in  the  fight. 


CHAPTER    V. 


Tried  for  Mayhem.  —  Voluntarily  defended  by  Henry  Clay  and  John 
Speed  Smith.  —  Brown's  evidence  proves  a  conspiracy  to  kill  me.  — 
Sketch  of  Henry  Clay. — A  few  sentences  from  his  Address  to  the 
Jury.  —  Declared  not  Guilty.  —  Death  of  Brown.  —  The  State  of 
Parties.  —  Henry  Clay  and  the  Presidential  contest  of  1844.  —  Daniel 
Webster  and  Henry  Clay. — The  Canvass  in  Boston. — In  New  York. — 
Result  adverse  to  H.  Clay.  —  He  unjustly  denounces  the  Abolition- 
ists.— My  Reply. 


HUMAN  nature  is  much  the  same  under  all  forms  of 
government.  Power  is  generally  force;  and  there  is 
but  little  sentimentalism  in  that,  whether  it  be  in  an  au- 
tocrat or  a  despotic  majority  in  a  republic ;  and  which,  in 
such  cases,  is,  when  uncovered  from  its  mask,  again  an 
autocracy.     So  I,  instead  of  Brown,  was  prosecuted. 

By  our  laws,  shooting  with  intent  to  kill  is  a  criminal 
offense,  punishable  with  confinement  in  the  penitentiary. 
That  offense,  in  this  case,  was  aggravated  by  a  conspiracy 
to  kill  me,  which  intensified  the  criminal  intent,  and  made 
the  facts  incontrovertible;  yet  Brown  was  not  prosecuted, 
but  I,  who  had  stood  upon  the  eternal  law  of  self-defense, 
was  held  to  answer  for  mayhejn,  or  maiming  the  person, 
by  cutting  Brown's  ear,  and  destroying  his  eye. 

Henry  Clay  and  John  Speed  Smith,  my  brother-in-law, 
a  great  orator  also,  as  said,  volunteered  to  defend  me. 
Smith's  speech,  as  he  was  aroused  by  the  comparison  with 
so  great  a  man  as  Clay,  was  a  very  able  one — fully  equal, 
if  not  superior,  to  Clay's.  He  was  the  uncle  of  James 
Speed,  Lincoln's  Attorney-General,  and  father  of  the  Rev. 
General  Green  Clay  Smith,  better  known,  perhaps,  than 
his  father,  but  not  his  equal  as  an  orator. 
86 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  87 

But  the  reader  is  interested  more  in  Henry  Clay,  and 
I  shall  speak  of  him  only.  Generally,  when  a  man  is 
alive,  and  his  person  and  character  familiar  to  every  one, 
but  little  is  said  of  them.  And,  after  his  death,  but  few- 
are  left  who,  by  personal  contact,  ^are  able  to  sketch  the 
lost  portraiture.  As  Henry  Clay  is  one  of  those  men  who 
"are  not  for  a  day,  but  for  all  time,"  I  shall  here,  as  else- 
where, speak  of  him  from  my  own  knowledge. 

It  is  a  remarkable  fact,  but  well  known,  that  Mr.  Clay, 
as  a  criminal  advocate,  never  lost  a  case.  It  is,  therefore, 
a  subject  of  interest  to  see  what  were  the  causes  of  this 
extraordinary  success.  In  consequence  of  the  existence  of 
slavery,  and  the  frontier-life  of  Kentuckians,  the  men  of 
talent  and  character  were  the  natural  leaders ;  and  the  in- 
fluence once  gained  was  ever  potent  in  all  directions.  Of 
all  men  whom  I  have  known,  Clay  had  more  of  what  is 
called,  in  modern  times,  magnetism.  He  was,  as  is  well 
known,  quite  tall,  yet  commanding  and  very  graceful  in 
manner  and  movement.  He  had  the  most  wonderful  voice 
in  compass,  purity,  and  sweetness ;  and  which,  with  the 
whole  science  of  gesticulation  and  manner,  he  sedulously 
cultivated.  Dr.  Joseph  Rodes  Buchanan,  the  celebrated 
scientist  and  philosopher,  now  of  Boston,  in  his  treatise  on 
"Moral  Education,"  throws  new  light  upon  the  voice,  and 
its  influence  on  the  passions  of  men.  Without  agree- 
ing with  him  upon  some  of  his  religious,  and  even  scien- 
tific views,  I  feel  the  force  of  his  observations  upon  the 
influence  of  the  human  voice.  In  this  Clay  had  a  great 
source  of  power.  There  was  also  a  natural  common  sense, 
which,  in  him  and  in  Abraham  Lincoln,  outweighed  all  the 
culture  in  books  of  their  great  rivals.  Now,  without  at- 
tempting a  definition  of  "common  sense,"  I  regard  it  as 
a  faculty  of  observing  and  standing  close  to  the  normal 
laws  of  mind  and  body ;  which  laws  operate  with  steady 
influence  in  all  the  mental  and  physical  activities  of  the 
common  or  average  man.  Thus  Mr.  Clay,  in  the  back- 
woods, where  men  are  seen  more   in  their  real  characters 


88  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

than  in  older  societies  and  cities,  was  better  able  to  un- 
derstand them,  (and  men  are  at  bottom  much  the  same 
every-where,)  or  any  audience  elsewhere.  I  but  touch 
upon  these  things  here,  as  I  have  spoken  of  them  else- 
where ;  and  conclude  by  the  remark,  that  Mr.  Clay  had  a 
very  highly  developed  nervous  structure  and  temperament, 
by  which,  as  in  war,  all  his  forces  could  be  at  once  rapidly 
concentrated  on  one  point  of  attack. 

After  stating  clearly  the  grounds  of  vindication,  which 
was  simply  self-defense,  and  knowing  that  abstract  justice 
on  one  side  was  not  enough,  Mr.  Clay  ventured  to  counter- 
act the  intense  prejudice  against  me,  by  appealing  to  pas- 
sions of  like  intensity  in  a  community  where  sentiment  is 
everything  when  once  free  to  act.  He  generally  stood 
near  his  audience  as  possible,  especially  when  it  was  a 
jury.  William  T.  Barry  I  have  seen  move  eight  or  ten 
feet  in  speaking — rapidly  advancing  and  then  retreating — 
when  the  climax  of  his  syllogistic  argument  was  reached. 
I  learn  that  Rufus  Choate  followed  a  like  course,  at  least 
in  intensity  of  physical  motion.  And  I  have  seen  poor 
imitators  of  such  men  use  not  only  the  forward  advance, 
but  a  side  vibration  as  well,  like  a  chained  coon  or  bear; 
and  even  come  down  from  the  platform,  like  a  Methodist 
preacher  at  a  camp-meeting  revival,  among  the  auditors. 

But  all  this  is  nonsense,  which  may  please  the  igno- 
rant; yet,  as  Shakespeare  has  it,  must  "make  the  judi- 
cious grieve."  Clay  was  too  good  an  artist  for  this.  He 
generally  stood  still,  gesticulating  with  graceful  movement 
of  one  or  both  hands ;  and,  when  in  the  most  intense 
force,  advancing  a  few  steps  forward  only.  In  my  own 
speaking,  I  stand  near  my  audience  as  possible  —  prefer- 
ring to  have  the  rostrum  not  higher  than  the  heads  of 
my  auditors.  I  make  few  gestures ;  never  change  from 
my  pla,ce,  and  use  my  voice  only  to  intensify  my  highest 
thought. 

At  this  distance  of  time,  I  can  hardly  venture  to  give 
more   than   a  thought    or    two   of  a    speech  which   was   to 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  89 

me,  of  all  others,  of  most  interest,  and  most  likely  to  be 
remembered  : 

"The  question  which  this  jury  of  freemen  is  called  upon  their 
honor  and  conscience  to  decide,  is  not  whether  the  political  views 
and  sentiments  of  the  prisoner  were  just  or  not,  nor  whether  they 
agreed  or  disagreed  with  yours;  nor  yet,  if  they  were  just,  whether 
ill-timed  or  out  of  place.  You  are  bound,  on  your  oaths,  to  say, 
was  Clay  acting  in  his  constitutional  and  legal  right?  Was  he  ag- 
gressive, or  resting  peaceably  in  the  security  of  the  laws  which 
guard  alike  the  safety  of  you,  and  me,  and  him  ?  And  yet  more : 
Did  he  occupy  even  higher  ground  than  all  human  enactments  — 
the  eternal  laws  of  self-defense  —  which  come  only  of  God,  and 
which  none  but  He  can  annul,  judge,  or  punish?  Standing,  as  he 
did,  without  aiders  or  abettors,  and  without  popular  sympathy ; 
with  the  fatal  pistol  of  conspired  murderers  pointed  at  his  heart, 
would  you  have  had  him  meanly  and  cowardly  fly?  Or  would  you 
have  had  him  to  do  just  what  he  did  do  —  there  stand  in  defense, 
or  there  fall?" 

And  then  turning  partly  toward  me,  with  the  most  pathetic 
voice,  broken  but  emphatic,  and  raising  himself  with  the 
most  imposing  personality  and  dignity  that  ever  an  Ameri- 
can has  attained,  he  said:  "And,  if  he  had  not,  he  would 
not  have  been  worthy  of  the  name  which  ]ie  bears ! ' ' 
********* 

After  Brown's  evidence,  and  the  very  able  speeches  of 
Messrs.  Clay  and  Smith  in  my  defense,  the  jury  had  only 
to  retire,  write  a  verdict  of  not  guilty,  and  return  it  to  the 
court.  Now,  when  Brown  made  his  confession,  I  thought 
that  I  should  be  equally  magnanimous ;  so  I  sent  him  word 
by  a  friend  that  I  thanked  him  for  the  service  he  had  ren- 
dered me,  and  was  willing  to  drop  the  whole  enmity,  and 
be  friends!  This  he  silently  declined.  So,  after  he  re- 
covered from  his  wounds,  terribly  disfigured,  I  expected 
another  deadly  rencounter,  and  was  ever  prepared. 

I  met  him  twice  afterward.  I  was  sitting  one  day 
in  D.  C.  Wickliffe's  office  —  editor  of  the  Kentucky  Re- 
porter—  with  some  friends,  when   Brown  came  in.     I  rose 


90  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

up,  and  stood  ready  for  defense.  But  Brown,  seeing  me, 
and  saying  a  few  words,  retired.  In  a  few  days  I  met 
him,  passing  on  the  foot-path  across  the  street  from  one 
square  to  the  other,  about  midway.  We  passed  each 
other,  both  giving  part  of  the  road ;  and  I  never  saw  him 
again.  Not  long  afterward,  he  was  blown  up  in  a  steam- 
boat near  Louisville,  and  was  lost.  Of  all  the  men  I  ever 
encountered  in  personal  conflict  Brown  was  the  bravest. 
Nor  must  outsiders  take  too  unfavorable  a  view  of  the 
fight;  for  at  that  time  few  men  were  my  equal  in  such 
conflicts;  and  both  Wickliffe  and  Brown  had  reason  to 
believe  that  I  would  be  backed  by  some  of  my  friends,  at 
least.  I  say  this  in  justice  to  the  dead;  and  men  of  one 
country  can  not  always  be  judged  by  the  moral  standard 
of  another.  And  Mr.  Wickliffe  might  well  be  pardoned 
for  leaving  others  to  enter  a  congenial,  personal  conflict 
with  one  whom  he  had  beaten  before  the  people,  when 
now  he  was  entering  a  higher  field  of  ambition.  Davis 
was,  however,  elected;  and  Wickliffe  was  sent  Minister 
Resident  to  some  one  of  the  Italian  courts.  He  married 
abroad,  and  died  early;  and  even  I,  who  had  once  had 
strong  friendship  in  the  family,  felt  sympathy  for  his  un- 
timely end. 

When  I  went  afterward  to  the  Mexican  War,  Mason 
Brown,  Sam.  Brown's  son,  was  Second  Lieutenant  of  the 
"Old  Infantry,"  of  1812  memory;  and  as  I  had  once  an 
opportunity,  at  Saltillo,  to  do  him  a  personal  favor,  he 
was  ever  afterward  my  friend.  Some  of  my  enemies,  who 
feared  me,  tried  to  incite  another  son,  then  living  in  Cali- 
fornia, to  a  personal  rencounter  with  me ;  but  the  Rev. 
Robert  J.  Breckinridge  and  Mason  Brown  interfering,  it 
came  to  nothing.  I  never  saw  him.  It  is  rather  curious ; 
and  among  the  letters  hereafter  to  be  published,  is  one 
from  Mason  Brown,  at  a  later  period  in  our  lives.  Such 
is  the  inconstancy  of  fortune. 

Since  the  adoption  of  the  Federal  Constitution  of  1789, 
there  has,  under  varying  names,  been  substantially  but  two 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  9 1 

parties  in  the  United  States  —  the  one  in  favor  of  a  strong 
central  government,  and  the  other  favoring  the  more  popu- 
lar rule  of  the  States.  The  first  embraced  mostly  the 
wealth  and  culture  of  the  Republic;  and  the  last  the 
poorer  and  laboring  classes,  under  cultivated  leaders.  At 
the  time  I  entered  political  life,  the  central  party  was 
called  Whig,  and  the  centrifugal  Democratic.  Of  the 
last,  Andrew  Jackson  had  become  the  leader;  and  of  the 
first,  Henry  Clay.  Mr.  Clay  was  the  great  statesman  of 
his  times,  developing  the  American  system,  which  included 
a  tariff  for  revenue  and  protection  of  home  manufactures,  a 
national  currency,  and  internal  improvements — embracing 
roads,  canals,  harbors,  break-waters,  and  all  that.  The 
Democrats,  of  whom  John  C.  Calhoun  had  more  and  more 
become  thinker  and  leader,  opposed  these  policies.  But 
underlying  and  over-riding  gradually  all  party  policies  was 
slavery. 

This  element  of  society,  by  which  the  master  held  ab- 
solute power  over  his  slave,  was  alien  to  all  the  principles 
and  policies  of  a  Democratic  Republic.  Inheriting  the  in- 
stitution from  our  British  ancestors,  our  fathers  felt  the 
shame  of  such  tyranny,  whilst  proclaiming  the  universal 
right  of  all  men  in  a  Declaration  of  Independence.  Mostly 
in  numbers  and  talent  aspiring  to  its  speedy  extinction,  they 
would  not  put  the  word  in  our  Constitution,  although  it  was 
indirectly  recognized.  After  1808,  no  slaves  were  to  be 
imported  into  the  United  States ;  and,  to  discourage  its 
existence,  only  three-fifths  of  the  slaves  were  counted  in 
the  basis  of  representation.  When  made  free,  they  would 
count  man  for  man,  as  in  general  citizenship.  Under  these 
political  discouragements,  and  the  growing  liberalism  of  the 
age,  slavery  was  fast  declining,  and  would  no  doubt  have 
peaceably  disappeared  had  not  the  cotton-plant,  which  our 
lands  and  climate  so  much  favored,  and  the  invention  of 
the  cotton-gin  given  new  value  to  slave-labor,  in  a  climate 
where  the  black  man  seemed  to  be  the  only  possible  cul- 
tivator. 


92  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

This  new  interest  consolidated  was  what  was  termed  the 
Slave-Power,  which  united  all  elements  —  moral,  religious, 
and  political  —  into  a  compact  and  inexorable  force,  which 
so  far  forth  absorbed  or  over-rode  all  party  principles  and 
policies.  This  produced  an  awakening  of  the  consciences 
of  men,  and  the  Abolition  Party,  which,  in  turn,  made 
all  things  secondary  to  liberation.  They  severed  them- 
selves from  Church  and  State,  and  refused  to  recognize 
the  Constitution  —  declaring  it  an  "agreement  with  Hell, 
and  a  covenant  with  Death."  This  nucleus  of  moral  pro- 
test against  slavery,  however  illogical  in  a  political  sense, 
aroused  the  better  sentiments  of  the  nation  ;  for  the  slave- 
power  was  put  upon  its  necessity  of  disproving  that  slavery 
was  the  "sum  of  all  villainies."  These  were  the  aggressive 
forces  which  ultimately  drew  all  others  into  their  train ;  till 
the  Free-Soil  Party,  and  next  the  Republican  Party,  stood 
on  one  side,  and  the  Pro-Slavery  Party  on  the  other,  under 
the  banner  of  False  Democracy.  And  thus  was  brought 
on  the  Civil  War,  and  the  overthrow  of  Slavery. 

The  sequel  proved  that  in  reality  there  was  very  little 
anti-slavery  sentiment  in  the  American  people,  either  be- 
fore or  since  the  war.  But  the  aggressions  of  the  slave- 
power  made  it  plain  that  the  freedom  of  the  white  races, 
as  well  as  that  of  the  black,  was  involved  in  the  contest; 
and  that  practically  all  the  States  must  be  free  or  slave. 

In  the  meantime  Great  Britain,  France,  and  the  leading 
nations  had  abolished  slavery,  and  the  slave  trade.  Por- 
tugal, Spain,  Brazil,  and  Russia,  struggling  in  the  same 
direction,  it  seemed  that  the  United  States,  outside  of  the 
barbarian  world,  were  the  only  defenders  of  slavery,  per 
se,  and  its  avowed  propagandism.  Thus  it  will  be  seen 
that  civilization  advances  in  the  sum  of  public  thought; 
whilst  it  only  remains  to  the  superior  organizations  of  the 
heroic  few  to  give  utterance  and  fruitage  to  great  princi- 
ples underlying  human  happiness. 

Henry  Clay,  having  been  beaten  in  the  Whig  Conven- 
tion, at  Harrisburg,  in   1840,  by  Harrison,  from  the  defec- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  93 

tion  of  John  Tyler,  who  became  President  on  Harrison's 
decease,  was  at  once  thrown  to  the  head  of  his  party 
again,  in  his  old  leadership.  So  he  had  no  difficulty  in 
getting  the  nomination  at  Baltimore,  in  1844.  By  my  de- 
feat on  the  slavery  issue,  I  was  disarmed  from  giving  any 
body  help  in  the  slave  States ;  but  it  greatly  increased  my 
power  in  the  free  States.  I  at  once  received  a  vast  num- 
ber of  letters  from  Whigs,  and  other  admirers,  to  come 
North,  and  advocate  Clay's  and  the  Whig  cause.  I  was 
also  honored  by  a  great  number  of  literary  and  political 
societies,  by  being  of  them  elected  a  member.  But,  Mr. 
Clay  having  advised  me  not  to  run  against  Wickliffe  in 
1 84 1,  I  determined,  before  entering  on  the  canvass,  to  con- 
sult him.     I  did  so ;  and  he  told  me  to  go.     So  I  went. 

As  I  propose  to  avoid,  rather  than  connect,  my  "Mem- 
oirs" with  the  general  political  history  of  the  times,  which 
is  already  so  full,  and  a  "twice-told  tale;"  and  as  my  po- 
litical action  will  be  best  studied  in  the  second  volume  of 
this  work,  in  which  will  appear  my  "  Speeches  and  Writ- 
ings," I  will  only  say  a  few  words  here  upon  the  political 
situation  in  1844. 

The  South,  by  a  compact  minority,  ever  vigilant  and 
unrelenting,  had  assumed  the  ascendency  in  a  Union  once 
founded  upon  free  principles.  They  now  reversed  the 
policy  of  our  fathers,  North  and  South,  and  determined  to 
maintain  supreme  control  of  the  government,  and  extend 
slavery  first  into  all  the  new  territory;  and  finally  give  it 
sway,  at  least  politically,  in  the  free  States  themselves. 
So  that  the  issue  was  inevitable,  as  I  before  said,  for 
either  all  slave  or  all  free  States.  This  interest,  for  brev- 
ity, will  be  called  the  slave-power.  Thus  the  moral  ele- 
ment of  the  North  was  centered  in  the  Garrisonian- 
Liberty  or  Abolition  Party ;  whilst  the  far-seeing  political 
minds  contended  for  self-government,  and  republican  su- 
premacy. These  were  the  dividing  banners,  with  a  large 
political  force,  as  ever  in  all  nations,  of  a  neutral  stand- 
ing.    Of  the   slave-power,   John    C.    Calhoun   was   now  the 


94  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 


leader;  and  of  the  other  force  was  Henry  Clay.  The  Abo- 
litionists were  Disunionists ;  the  other  two  parties  stood 
in  a  sliding  movement.  The  Whigs  for  the  Union,  with 
or  without  slavery.  The  Calhoun  Democrats  for  the 
Union,  if  possible,  with  slavery;  but,  Union  or  no  Union, 
slavery  forever.  These  were  the  trunks  of  the  three 
growths,  with  the  roots  yet  intermingling  in  apparent 
unity. 

There  were  several  causes,  then,  why  I  was  received  in 
the  North  with  universal  heartiness  and  enthusiasm,  with- 
out claiming  too  much  personal  prowess.  First,  I  was  a 
Clay,  and  near  in  personal  relations  with  Henry  Clay ;  so 
that  all  office-seekers  would  naturally  desire  to  be  in  close 
relations  with  me.  Then,  in  opposing  the  admission  of 
Texas,  I  set  myself  squarely  with  the  political  interests  of 
the  North.  And  last,  but  not  least,  I  stood  upon  the 
eternal  laws  of  right  against  wrong;  whilst,  unlike  the 
Abolition  school,  I  carried  with  me  all  the  sacred  memo- 
ries of  our  fathers,  and  all  the  future  and  past  glories  of 
the  union  of  these  States. 

Every-where  I  was  received  with  the  wildest  enthusi- 
asm—  from  Ohio  to  Boston.  At  Boston,  I  spoke  with 
Webster,  Berrien,  and  others,  on  the  famous  old  Boston 
Common.  It  was  a  magnificent  audience.  Nowhere  in 
the  world,  outside  of  New  England,  and  outside  of  Bos- 
ton even,  at  that  day,  could  so  many  fine  heads  and  cul- 
tured faces  be  seen.  At  St.  Petersburg,  where  the  whole 
aristocracy  of  a  great  empire  is  gathered  at  some  of  the 
court  balls,  a  more  agreeable  assemblage  may  be  looked 
upon ;  but  hardly  more  brain  development  even  there. 

This  was  the  second  time  I  had  seen  Daniel  Webster. 
With  a  massive  head,  "satanic"  eyes,  and  medium  but 
rugged,  stalwart  body,  no  such  figure  has  before  or  since 
illustrated  our  history.  I  say  "satanic"  eyes,  for  so  I 
have  heard  intelligent  women  describe  them.  Let  any 
one  see  the  portrait  of  Webster,  as  painted  by  Chester 
Harding,  in  the  Boston  Athenaeum,  and  decide.     No  doubt 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  95 

Henry  Clay  was  a  man  of  equal  genius  with  Webster;  and 
they  two  were  the  leading  figures  during  all  their  lives. 
In  whatever  assemblage  of  men,  at  home  or  abroad,  these 
two  men  entered,  all  eyes  acknowledged  their  supremacy. 
Webster  had  all  the  early  advantages  of  the  highest  intel- 
lectual culture,  and  continual  association  with  thoughtful 
men.  As  a  lawyer,  where  generalization  is  the  first  quality, 
he  was  Clay's  superior.  His  brain  was  perhaps  the  largest 
of  all  his  contemporaries ;  but  it  was  broader,  and  ran  fully 
into  that  posterior  lobe  which  Dr.  Joseph  Rodes  Buchanan 
has  shown  gives  action  to  the  sensual  and  the  sensuous ; 
whilst  the  intellectual  and  moral  centers  its  force  in  the 
anterior  and  high  structure  of  the  brain,  in  which  Clay 
excelled.  The  greatest  single  speech,  I  think,  in  our  lan- 
guage, is  Webster's  defense  of  the  Union  in  reply  to 
Hayne.  Webster  was  like  a  great  wagon  that  took  six 
horses  or  more  to  move  it ;  or  he  might  be  compared  to 
a  huge  locomotive,  which  required  much  steam  to  set  it 
in  motion.  The  occasion  was  the  greatest  —  the  North 
against  the  South ;  and,  greater  yet,  the  North  and  South 
against  the  world.  No  such  occasion  since  the  death  of 
Demosthenes  had  occurred  in  history ;  and  no  such  speech 
had  been  uttered  since  the  times  of  that  greatest  of  orators. 
Henry  Clay  was  educated  more  in  contact  with  men 
than  with  books.  He  had  less  generalization,  but  higher 
instincts  and  keener  sympathies.  His  brain,  though  not 
rectangular,  was  high  in  extent,  and  wide  in  the  intel- 
lectual faculties.  His  sentiments  were  always  fine;  .and 
his  animal  passions  weak.  In  eating  and  drinking,  and 
all  the  animal  proclivities,  Webster  and  Clay  were  wide 
apart.  Webster  was  like  a  cat-fish — gross  and  omniver- 
ous ;  Clay  like  the  brook-trout  —  fastidious  even  in  the 
taking  of  the  gilded  fly.  So  far  as  chastity  is  concerned, 
I  think  the  obligations  of  religion  and  morality  rest  alike 
on  both  sexes ;  but  practically,  by  the  eternal  laws,  the 
consequences  are  more  grievous  when  women  fall.  I  trust 
I   may  always   be   found    advocating    the    highest  morality, 


Q6  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

and  the  purest  religion,  however  I  may  fall  short  of  the 
lines  laid  down  by  myself.  I,  then,  in  plain  speech,  shall 
cater  to  no  prurient  taste ;  but  the  living  and  the  dead 
shall  be  subject  to  just  criticism.  For  false  is  the  hea- 
then maxim:  "De  mortuis  nil  nisi  bonum ;"  and  I  prefer 
it  as  amended  by  my  friend,  Robert  Richardson:  "Nil 
nisi  veritatem."  For  if  the  truth  is  suppressed,  we  lose 
that  incentive  to  the  loftiest  action  which  rests  upon  pos- 
thumous glory,  as  foreseen  by  the  living. 

Of  Webster's  bearing  among  women,  as  I  know  noth- 
ing, I  shall  say  nothing;  leaving  him  as  I  found  him,  to 
common  fame.  But  in  defense  of  H.  Clay,  with  whom  I 
associated  much,  I  shall  repudiate  the  surmises  of  the 
frivolous,  the  envious,  and  the  slanderers.*  I  was  a  long 
time  in  the  same  city  with  him ;  dined  with  him  at  his 
own  house,  and  those  of  his  associates,  in  Lexington ; 
was  with  him  in  the  great  city  of  Baltimore ;  accompanied 
him  in  his  noted  tour  through  the  North-west  in  1842, 
where  I  was  often  alone  with  him,  as  well  as  in  the 
crowd  of  his  friends  and  intimates,  and  I  never  saw  him 
perform  a  disrespectful  action,  or  heard  from  his  lips  a 
sensual  word  in  regard  to  women  in  my  life ;  yet  his 
sympathy  with  intellectual,  virtuous  women  was  intense, 
and  his  magnetism  preeminent.  With  homely  features,  as 
all  know,  he  had  the  plastic  radiation  of  countenance 
which  at  times  seemed  like  inspiration.  Women  were 
crazy  in  his  presence ;  and  grave  men  filled  with  unusual 
enthusiasm.  As  a  popular  leader,  Henry  Clay  had  no 
equal  in  his  times ;  and  of  all  our  public  men,  he  began 
life  in  the  front,  and  there  he  stayed  till  death  gathered 
him  to  his  fathers. 

I  heard  Webster  at  Boston,  and  again  at  Lexington, 
Kentucky.  He  always  spoke  sense,  but  never  excited  en- 
thusiasm.    His  thoughts  were  ever  upon  great  speeches; 

*  In  my  letter  of  1848,  I  referred  to  the  causes  of  his  duel  with 
John  Randolph. —  C.    1885. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  97 

Clay's  upon  great  events.  Webster  used  the  money  of 
his  friends,  and  his  friends  themselves,  as  the  priests  of 
old.  "  The  earth  and  the  fullness  thereof  belonged  to 
the  saints ;  we  are  the  saints,  and  therefore  these  are  all 
ours."  He  reminded  me  of  Homer's  Cyclops,  who  made 
his  sheep  his  companions  by  day,  and  supped  upon  one 
or  more  of  them  each  night!  He  even  drew  upon  them 
after  death,  and  made  his  will  full  of  bequests  which  were 
to  be  levied  upon  his  friends. 

Altogether  different  was  Henry  Cl?y ;  exact  and  punc- 
tilious in  monied  matters  to  a  fault.  When  in  generous 
hospitality  he  had  expended  his  great  earnings  as  a  crimi- 
nal advocate  and  judicious  farmer,  and  went  to  the  banks 
at  Lexington  to  find  out  his  debt,  that  he  might  sell 
Ashland  and  pay  it  off,  he  was  told  that  he  had  none ; 
his  unknown  friends  had,  without  his  knowledge,  can- 
celed all.  His  answer  was  —  tears!  It  was  not  wonder- 
ful then,  that,  in  1844,  Webster,  who  had  stood  in  the 
hateful  Tyler  administration,  however  influenced  by  patri- 
otism, was  easily  beaten  by  Clay.  He  was  quite  sullen 
then  in  his  support  of  Clay.* 

Before  I  spoke,  Mr.  R.  C.  Winthrop,  member  of  Con- 
gress, and  apparent  master  of  ceremonies,  advised  me,  as 
Mr.  Berrien  and  other  slave-owners  were  present,  not  to 
touch  upon  the  slavery  question.  As  I  had  just  been  de- 
feated foully  by  that  party,  I  treated  his  suggestions  with 
contempt ;  but,  as  he  soon  fell  under  the  blows  of  Sumner 
forever,  I  pass  him  by.  I  think  it  is  not  egotism  when  I 
say  that  none  of  the  orators  were  heard  with  such  interest 
as  myself. 

Some  one  has  cut  out  my  speech  (from  the  preserved 
account)  on  Boston  Common ;  but  the  one  of  the  same 
night,    in    the    Tremont    Temple,    is    published.      Webster 

*  See  letter  in  Life  of  J.  J.   Crittenden,  by  his  daughter,   Mrs. 
A.   M.   Coleman. 
Vol.  I.— 7 


98  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

was  president  of  the  vast  audience,  and  as  such  made 
the  leading  speech.  The  order  of  the  exercises  was  pub- 
lished in  hand-bills.  Mr.  Berrien,  Senator  from  Georgia, 
was  the  first  in  order ;  but,  as  Mr.  Webster  sat  down, 
the  cry  for  "Clay"  was  like  the  near  ocean's  roar.  After 
several  attempts,  Mr.  Webster  said  to  the  audience,  that 
the  list  of  speakers  was  made  out  by  the  committee ;  and, 
reading  it  aloud,  said  each  would  be  presented  in  his 
order.  John  M.  Berrien  was  then  presented,  and  spoke. 
I  was  second  in  order;  but  my  speech,  as  I  said,  is  lost. 
I,  however,  spoke,  as  the  others,  briefly,  as  it  had  already 
been  arranged  that  I  should  have  Tremont  Temple  to 
myself  that  night ;  whilst  the  others,  who  were  to  speak 
also  the  same  evening,  were  allotted  to  Boston  Common 
again.  When  I  had  finished,  I  took  my  seat  just  behind 
Mr.  Webster,  on  the  same  bench,  or  chairs,  with  other 
speakers ;  and  Mr.  Fowler,  of  New  York,  was  after  a 
while  introduced.  Fowler  was  of  great  size,  and  sten- 
torian voice  —  a  fair  representative  of  the  American  bird  — 
and  a  great  admirer  of  Henry  Clay. 

Webster  was  quite  restive  under  Fowler's  eulogies  of 
Clay;  and  when  the  orator  elevated  him  to  the  first  place 
of  all  Americans,  as  an  orator  and  a  statesman,  he  could 
be  silent  no  longer ;  but,  turning  to  the  friends  sitting 
near  him,   said:    "Who   put  that  fellow  up  here?" 

Clay  was  more  outspoken,  when  he  said,  in  the  Sen- 
ate, in  Webster's  presence:  "I  feel  no  new-born  zeal  in 
behalf  of  this  administration."  So  it  must  be  conceded 
that  the  genius  of  Clay  mastered  the  great  but  heavy 
talents  of  Webster,  and  made  him  the  leader  of  all  the 
men  of  his  times. 

Mr.  Clay  was  so  conscientious  a  man  in  all  his  public 
acts,  that  he  thought  a  personal  difference  of  opinion  with 
himself  was  a  want  of  patriotism ;  and  he  was  too  hasty 
in  denouncing  such  action.  This  seems  to  have  been  the 
reason  of  his  frequent  defeats  for  the   Presidency.     When 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  99 

his  name  was  before  the  people  for  that  high  office,  those 
who  were  in,  and  those  who  had  passed  out,  of  political 
life,  rose  up  in  impregnable  array  against  him;  for  re- 
venge is  ever  stronger  than  gratitude.  So  wrongs  are 
forgiven  more  readily  than  insults  —  the  last  compelling 
revenge  to  restore  self-respect. 

This  was  the  visit  to  Boston,  I  think,  during  which 
I  saw  John  Quincy  Adams  at  his  residence,  which  I  have 
already  spoken  of  in  detail.  I  here  again  met  Chester 
Harding,  now  mature  in  fame,  who  had  painted  my 
father,  and  other  members  of  my  family,  in  early  life. 
He  stood  deservedly  at  the  head  of  his  profession  in 
America  as  a  portrait-painter.  I  now  made  the  acquaint- 
ance of  Wm.  Lloyd  Garrison.  I  said  to  him:  "Why, 
Garrison,  I  had  expected  to  see  a  long-faced  ascetic;  but 
I  see  you  patriots  are  jolly,  sleek  fellows  —  not  at  all  de- 
barred of  the  good  things  of  life."  He  replied,  in  the 
same  vein:  "And  therein,  Clay,  you  are  wrong,  and 
somewhat  confound  things.  The  ascetics  are  the  wrong- 
doers! Who  should  be  happy,  if  not  those  who  are 
always  right?" 

Garrison  was  a  man  of  great  common  sense,  and  much 
wit;  and  so,  when  slavery  fell,  he  voted  to  abolish  the 
Abolition  Society.  The  great  error  of  the  Abolition  move- 
ment, however,  was  the  narrow  view  of  the  duties  of  the 
citizens  of  a  Republic,  wherein  the  voice  of  the  majority 
must  rule,  subject  to  constitutional  change,  and  influenced 
by  policy  and  morality.  I  think  their  denunciation  of 
slavery  and  the  constitution  did  much  toward  the  over- 
throw of  that  ill-fated  system.  But  their  work  would  have 
been  much  more  efficient,  had  they  stood  for  the  Union 
and  the  Constitution  at  the  same  time.  And  this  they  ad- 
mitted by  their  action  in  the  Civil  War  —  abandoning  the 
idea  of  disunion. 

After  spending  a  very  agreeable  time  in  the  modern 
"Athens,"    I   went  to   New  York,   where   the  battle  of  the 


IOO  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

canvass  was  to  be  fought.  This  State  was  the  arbiter  of 
the  fate  of  Clay ;  and  here  was  a  large  mass  of  Aboli- 
tionists, whom  I  was  desirous  to  secure  upon  the  Texas 
issue,  against  which  annexation  Mr.  Clay  had  declared. 
I  fought  against  the  annexation  of  Texas  because  it  was 
a  part  of  the  slave-power's  scheme  to  extend  slavery; 
Mr.  Clay  because  it  involved  us  in  a  necessary  war  with 
Mexico,  with  whom  we  ought  to  remain  on  terms  of 
amity.  Whilst  opposed,  in  judgment,  to  slavery,  and  in 
general  aspiration  for  the  liberty  of  all  men,  Mr.  Clay  did 
not  avow  nor  conceive  a  war  upon  slavery ;  preferring,  as 
most  statesmen  entrusted  with  the  leadership  in  public 
affairs,  to  follow  where  he  could  not  lead,  and  still  main- 
tain the  leadership.  But,  for  the  time  being,  Mr.  Clay 
and  myself  were  acting  in  good  faith,  in  unison.  The 
celebrated  Alabama  letter,  then,  was  consistent  with  all 
his  avowals  in  the  Raleigh  letter  and  his  former  life,  and 
the  conduct  of  the  canvass.  His  enemies  used  it,  how- 
ever, as  a  proof  of  his  duplicity ;  when,  in  fact,  it  was  but 
the  result  of  his  innate  manliness  and  hatred  of  decep- 
tion. But,  as  I  had  been  pressing  his  election  on  the 
ground  of  his  anti-slavery  views  so  often  expressed,  and 
his  opposition  to  Texas  on  the  whole,  whatever  may  have 
been  their  main  reasons  of  objection,  the  enemies  of  Mr. 
Clay  used  some  expressions  in  that  letter,  accompanied 
with  his  Raleigh  letter,  as  proof  of  his  giving  way  to  the 
slave-power ;  when,  in  fact,  no  man  in  America  was,  upon 
high  political  principles,  more  at  heart  opposed  to  the 
annexation.  But  the  clamor  of  an  unthinking  canvass 
placed  me  in  a  false  position.  So  I  wrote  to  Mr.  Clay, 
saying  that  I  based  my  arguments  upon  his  oft-repeated 
ideas  on  the  subject  of  slavery ;  but,  if  the  interpretations 
put  upon  his  views  in  the  Raleigh  and  Alabama  letters 
were  the  true  ones,  I  should  at  once  return  to  Kentucky, 
and  be  silent.  Of  course,  as  I  have  above  explained 
Mr.  Clay's  sentiments  as  I  understood  them,  he  wrote  me 
to  go  on  with  the  canvass  —  maintaining  my  own  sense  of 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  IOI 

action.  This  letter,*  sent  by  the  Hon.  Willis  Greene,  to 
the  care  of  Horace  Greeley,  as  I  was  in  the  interior  of 
the  State,  was  intercepted  on  the  way,  and  published;  and, 
though  in  perfect  harmony  with  the  integrity  of  Mr.  Clay's 
whole  life,  was  claimed  yet  more  as  proof  of  his  infidelity 
to  principle. 

The  upshot  was,  that  Mr.  Clay  lost  New  York.  He 
was  beaten  by  5,106  votes,  Jas.  G.  Birney  getting  15,000. 
Thus  the  impracticable  Abolitionists  defeated  Clay,  the 
most  honest  man,  next  to  Lincoln,  that  ever  ran  for  Presi- 
dent. Texas  was  annexed  with  slavery,  and  the  foretold 
Mexican  War  ensued. 

To  return  to  Mr.  Webster.  The  largest  meeting  I 
ever  saw  —  except  that  when  Capt.  Fox  was,  with  the 
officers  of  the  American  Navy,  entertained  by  Prince  Dol- 
gorouki,  Viceroy  at  Moscow  —  was  at  Rochester,  New 
York.  I  met  Mr.  Webster  at  the  Astor  House,  in  New 
York,  his  usual  quarters.  He  had  been  invited  to  speak 
there,  and  I  had  just  come  from  the  interior,  to  take 
passage  to  that  great  assemblage,  where  it  had  been  an- 
nounced that  both  of  us  would  speak.  I  asked  Mr.  Web- 
ster if  he  was  going?  He  said:  "No,  I  see  you  are. 
going;   and  they  had   rather  hear  you  than  me."     I  men- 

*  LETTER    OF    H.    CLAY. 
[CONFIDENTIAL.] 

Ashland,   Sept  18,    1844. 

My  Dear  Sir: — I  received  your  favor  of  the  10th  instant,  in 
which  you  state  that  you  will  be  in  Boston  on  the  19th,  where  it 
is  impossible  this  letter  can  reach  you  ;  and  I  therefore  send  it  to 
the  Hon.  Willis  Greene,  to  be  forwarded  to  you. 

I  am  perfectly  persuaded  of  your  friendly  intentions,  and  feel 
grateful  for  them.  But  you  can  have  no  conception,  unless  you 
had  been  here,  of  the  injury  which  your  letter  to  the  Tribune  was 
doing ;  and  that  was  nothing  in  comparison  to  that  which  it  was 
likely  to  inflict  upon  the  Whig  cause  in  the  States  of  Tennessee, 
North  Carolina,  and  Georgia.  Our  friend,  John  Speed  Smith,  as 
well  as  others,  thought  it  even  endangered  the  State  of  Kentucky. 
This  effect  resulted  from   your   undertaking  to  speak  of  my  private 


102  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

tion  this,  as  well  as"  the  kind  expressions  of  J.  O.  Adams, 
as  honorable  testimony  to  my  fame ;  though  no  man  liv- 
ing has  ever  deferred  less  to  great  men.  This  was  the 
last  I  saw  of  Webster.  I  returned  to  Lexington  with  the 
speakers  who  had  gone  East  and  North  to  join  in  the 
canvass.  The  mode  of  travel  then  was  from  Baltimore, 
by  stage  over  the  mountains,  to  Wheeling,  where  a  boat, 
at  times,  could  be  found ;  and,  if  not,  following  the  stage- 
way  through  Ohio  was  the  common  route  by  Maysville  to 
Lexington.  We  had  not  heard  the  final  result,  of  the 
election  of  Polk ;  but  we  had  gloomy  presentiments.      As 

feelings  and  those  of  my  near  and  particular  friends,  and  your  state- 
ment that  you  had  been  ten  years  operating  in  the  Abolition  cause. 

Under  these  circumstances,  there  was  an  absolute  necessity  for 
the  note  which  I  published,  although  I  regretted  it  extremely.  I 
endeavored  so  to  shape  it  as  not  to  wound  your  feelings,  and  I 
hope  I  did  not. 

Had  you  been  here,  you  would  have  concurred  with  myself 
and  other  friends  in  thinking  it  indispensable. 

You  must  be  well  aware  of  the  very  great  delicacy  of  my 
position. 

At  the  North,  I  am  represented  as  an  ultra  supporter  of  the 
institution  of  slavery,  whilst  at  the  South  I  am  described  as  an 
Abolitionist ;  when  I  am  neither  the  one  nor  the  other.  As  we 
have  the  same  sirname,  and  are,  moreover,  related,  great  use  is 
made  at  the  South  against  me  of  whatever  falls  from  you.  There, 
you  are  even  represented  as  being  my  son ;  hence  the  necessity  of 
the  greatest  circumspection,  and  especially  that  you  should  avoid 
committing  me. 

You  are  watched  wherever  you  go ;  and  every  word  you  pub- 
licly express  will  be  tortured  and  perverted  as  my  own  are. 

After  all,  I  am  afraid  that  you  are  too  sanguine  in  supposing 
that  any  considerable  number  of  the  Liberty  men  can  be  induced 
to  support  me.  How  can  that  be  expected  after  they  have  voted 
against  Mr.   Slade  ? 

With  assurances  of  my  thankfulness  for  your  friendly  purposes, 
and  with  my  best  respects  for  Mrs.  Clay, 

I  am  truly  and  faithfully,   your  friend, 
C.   M.   Clay,   Esq.  H.   CLAY. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  IO3 

we  reached  the  foot  of  the  mountain,  there  was  a  newly- 
erected  hickory-pole,  with  leaves  still  green  on  the  top. 
From  a  limb  was  suspended  a  skinned  coon ;  and  then  we 
knew  the  Whigs,  nicknamed  "Coons,"  were  lost! 

Mr.  Clay  took  his  defeat  with  ill  grace,  and  showed 
more  than  usual  impatience.  Naturally  ambitious,  he 
seemed  to  realize  that  destiny  was  against  his  elevation 
to  the  presidency,  when  so  inferior  a  man  as  Jas.  K.  Polk 
was  his  opponent ;  and  when  the  constitution,  violated  in 
the  annexation  of  Texas,  and  the  sure  result  a  war,  were 
on  his  side.  But  he  had  many  life-followers,  and  naturally 
he  was  desirous  of  rewarding  their  long  devotion.  At  a 
dinner,  at  Lexington,  Ky.,  at  Dr.  Benjamin  W.  Dudley's, 
at  which  I  and  Ex-Governor  James  T.  Morehead,  then  a 
Senator  of  the  United  States,  and  other  noted  men,  were 
present,  Mr.  Clay  showed  that  unhappy  arrogance  which 
was  fatal  to  his  political  personal  success.  He  first  set 
upon  poor  Morehead,  who  had  voted  against  Clay's  view 
on  some  passing  question,  in  the  style  of  a  superior  lec- 
turing a  delinquent.  Morehead  apologized  by  saying,  he 
but  represented  the  people  of  his  State,  which  he  was 
bound  to  do ;  but  that  Mr.  Clay,  being  a  national  man, 
was  no  doubt  allowed  a  larger  liberty.  Of  course,  Mr. 
Clay  could  say  no  more ;  but  his  wrath  was  still  unap- 
peased.  He  turned  upon  the  Abolitionists,  and  especially 
those  of  New  York,  and  was  very  severe  in  his  denuncia- 
tion of  them.  I  could  but  feel  that  part  of  his  censure 
was  against  myself.  I  had  already  been  badgered  by  the 
press,  and  denounced  by  my  enemies  at  home;  and,  feel- 
ing indignant  at  his  lecture  of  Morehead,  was  not  in  a 
humor  to  submit  quietly  even  to  the  petulance  of  Henry 
Clay.  So  I  said,  very  gravely:  "Mr.  Clay,  whatever 
errors  of  judgment,  or  of  patriotism,  may  justly  be  im- 
puted to  the  Abolitionists,  I  think  you  are  the  last  man 
who  ought  to  complain ;  for,  if  I  remember  aright,  you 
said  that  the  Abolitionists  should  be  set  apart  from,  and 
denounced  by  all  parties ;  so  they  but  played  the  role  you 


104  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

marked  out  for  them."  Mr.  Clay  answered  not  a  word; 
how  could  he?  All  the  dinner-party,  composed  of  follow- 
ers and  admirers,  were  surprised  and  shocked ;  for  none 
of  them,  except  Morehead,  had  any  sympathy  with  my 
views ;  and  Dudley  was  one  of  the  Committee  of  Three 
who  afterward  received  such  bitter  denunciation  from  me, 
when  the  True  American  was  set  upon.  Here  began  the 
coolness  between  Mr.  Clay  and  myself  which  resulted  in 
alienation,  for  awhile,  on  my  part.  For,  as  I  loved  and 
admired  Mr.  Clay  above  all  his  contemporaries,  so,  when 
I  felt  that  he  treated  me  with  a  want  of  magnanimity  — 
not  to  say  injustice  —  I  resisted  him  in  all  his  aspirations 
with  equal  intensity.  But,  when  I  was  victor,  my  earlier 
sentiments  revived ;  and  I  could  but  feel  some  contrition 
that  I  had  aided  in  the  overthrow  of  so  great  a  statesman 
and  patriot.  And  I  think  my  whole  life  shows  that,  whilst 
ever  ready  to  resist  wrong,  I  am  equally  willing  to  forgive 
a  fallen  foe ;  for  I  have  ever  held  that  the  next  great 
honor  to  never  having  committed  a  wrong,  is  to  frankly 
acknowledge  it  without  reserve. 


CHAPTER   VI, 


"The  True  American." — Why  it  was  begun. — Employment  of  an  Editor. — 
He  is  frightened  into  desertion. — The  Office  armed  to  repel  ex- 
pected Assault. — The  Committee  of  Sixty. — Co-Laborers. — James  B. 
Clay. — Letter  from  my  Mother. — Letter  from  Committee  of  Cincin- 
nati Citizens,  and  my  Reply. — Removal  of  Office  of  "True  Amer- 
ican" to  Cincinnati. — Episode  from  Secret  History  of  the  Southern 
Confederacy — Time,  1864. 


THE  defeat  of  Clay  now  for  the  third  time  —  first  in 
1824,  then  in  1828,  and  now  in  1844  —  seemed  fatal 
to  his  future  hopes  of  ever  reaching  the  presidency.  But 
his  supporters,  many  of  them,  as  ever  has  and  ever  will 
be,  camp-followers  for  plunder,  were  more  cast  down  than 
Clay  himself. 

The  Whigs  had  stood  by  the  North  on  the  tariff  and 
other  issues,  mostly  losing  the  South  in  consequence. 
Now,  the  North  deserted  them  on  one  of  her  own  issues, 
by  her  divisions,  letting  Slave-Texas  come  in  by  a  vote 
simply  of  Congress,  without  the  constitutional  treaty  power 
acquiring  new  territory,  and  taking  in  even  an  organized 
State.  So  the  Whigs  were  sore  unto  death,  and  some- 
body must  be  made  a  scape-goat. 

I  was  the  most  agreeable  sacrifice  to  them,  for  obvious 
reasons ;  and  so  they  set  upon  me  with  renewed  virulence. 
I  was  the  cause  of  all  the  trouble ;  and,  if  it  had  not 
been  for  me,  there  would  have  been  none  of  the  slavery 
muddle,  and  they  might  have  been  eating  treasury  cheese, 
like  other  old  rats,  without  hinderance.  I  needed  no  urg- 
ing on ;  for  I  had  seen  a  vitality  in  the  popular  heart  in 
my  Northern  tour  which  foreshowed  the  downfall  of  the 
slave-power.  It  was  only  a  question  of  time.  After  using 
the    old    political    journals    till    their    columns    were    closed 

105 


106  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

against  me,  I  determined  to  start  a  press  of  my  own  in 
the  cause  of  liberation. 

My  object  was  to  use  a  State  and  National  Constitu- 
tional right — :the  Freedom  of  the  Press  —  to  change  our  Na- 
tional and  State  laws,  so  as,  by  a  legal  majority,  to  abolish 
^slavery.  There  was  danger,  of  course,  of  mob-violence, 
as  Birney  and  Greene  and  Marshall  and  others  had  been 
silenced;  and  I  determined  to  defend  my  rights  by  force, 
if  need  be.  My  fortune,  somewhat  shattered  by  political 
life,  was  yet  not  greatly  impaired.  I  knew  very  well  that 
such  a  paper  would  be  a  losing  business,  but  I  was  will- 
ing to  make  the  sacrifice.  I  engaged  T.  B.  Stevenson, 
editor  of  the  Frankfort,  Ky.,  Commonwealth,  to  edit  the 
paper,  which  was  called  The  True  American,  allowing 
him  one  thousand  dollars  a  year.  When  he  heard  of  my 
design,  he  volunteered  to  join  me  in  the  movement,  say- 
ing he  felt  that  God  had  intended  him  for  the  service. 
He  was  a  Methodist,  and  the  founder  of  that  sect,  John 
Wesley,  had  been  very  bitter  in  his  denunciation  of  the 
"peculiar  institution."  But,  when  mob-violence  had  threat- 
ened the  lives  of  all  engaged,  Stevenson's  courage  failed 
him ;  and  he  never  appeared  on  the  scene  of  action.  Poor 
humanity!  His  cowardice  was  not  all.  Degraded  in  his 
own  self-esteem,  and  lowered  in  my  respect,  of  course,  he 
turned  out  to  be  one  of  my  bitterest  enemies  and  de- 
nouncers. Other  men,  who  afterward  attained  high  rank 
in  Kentucky,  turned  pale  and  deserted  me,  but  said  noth- 
ing against  me. 

The  present  generation  can  know  nothing  of  the  terror 
which  the  slave-power  inspired ;  but  it  may  be  faintly  con- 
ceived, when  a  professed  minister  of  the  Christian  religion 
in  South  Carolina  said  that  it  were  better  for  him,  rather 
than  denounce  slavery,  "to  murder  his  own  mother,  and 
lose  his  soul  in  hell !  " 

My  prospectus  was  moderate  enough  —  proposing  none 

■  but    constitutional    methods    in    the    overthrow    of   slavery ; 

but   when   the   first    number    appeared,    on    the    3d    day  of 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  IO7 

June,  1845,  tne  war  was  raging  apace  along  all  the  lines. 
I  selected  for  my  office  a  brick  building,  and  lined  the 
outside  doors  with  sheet-iron,  to  prevent  it  being  burned. 
I  purchased  two  brass  four-pounder  cannon  at  Cincinnati, 
and  placed  them,  loaded  with  shot  and  nails,  on  a  table 
breast  high ;  had  folding  doors  secured  with  a  chain,  which 
could  open  upon  the  mob,  and  give  play  to  my  cannon.  I 
furnished  my  office  with  Mexican  lances,  and  a  limited 
number  of  guns.  There  were  six  or  eight  persons  who 
stood  ready  to  defend  me.  If  defeated,  they  were  to  es- 
cape by  a  trap-door  in  the  roof;  and  I  had  placed  a  keg 
of  powder,  with  a  match,  which  I  could  set  off,  and  blow 
up  the  office  and  all  my  invaders ;  and  this  I  should  most 
certainly  have  done,  in  case  of  the  last  extremity. 

The  names  of  my  colleagues  I  have  never  given,  as  it 
would  have  subjected  them  to  severe  persecution ;  and  I 
have  left  it  to  themselves  to  make,  or  not,  the  revelation. 
Wm.  L.  Neal  now  avows  himself  one.  One,  however, 
who  is  now  dead,  I  may  mention  with  honor:  T.  Lewinski. 
He  was  a  Polish  emigre,  a  man  of  general  education, 
speaking  French  and  English,  and  an  engineer.  When  I 
was  Colonel  of  the  Fayette  Uniformed  Legion,  he  acted 
as  my  adjutant,  and  formed  quite  an  attachment  for  me. 
He  married  a  Kentucky  woman ;  and  was  the  faithful 
and  efficient  architect  who  built  the  addition  to  my  resi- 
dence, during  my  absence  in  Russia.  William  and  Black 
Kincaid,  prominent  citizens,  were  also  friends  of  the 
cause. 

The  truth  is,  the  mob  was  worse  scared  than  I.  The 
Committee  of  Sixty,  I  afterward  found  out,  was  composed 
largely  of  my  friends,  who  were  willing  to  serve  in  order 
to  control  the  more  violent,  whom  T.  F.  Marshall  had  in- 
flamed by  his  speeches  and  writings.  There  was  but  one 
piece  of  cannon  in  Lexington,  a  brass  eight-pounder,  which 
had  been  used  by  the  artillery  company  in  my  "  Fayette 
Legion."  Though  the  Captain,  W.  R.  Bradford,  was  not 
friendly  to  me,  my  friends  believed  that  the  company  was ; 


108  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

and  that,  in  case  of  conflict,  Bradford  would  have  been  re- 
jected, and  the  cannon  used  in  my  defense,  instead  of 
battering  down  -the  doors  of  the  Tt'ue  American  office. 
This  I  know,  at  least,  that,  on  my  return  from  Mexico, 
Bradford  at  first  refused  to  fire  the  cannon  in  my  honor, 
when  the  company  was  bent  on  doing  so  at  all  events, 
and  he  followed  the  public  lead  in  my  favor.  James  B. 
Clay,  the  son  of  Henry  Clay,  who  acted  as  Secretary  of 
the  Committee  of  Sixty,  and  whom  I  sued  in  the  courts 
on  my  return  from  Mexico,  and  against  whom  I  got  a 
verdict  of  damages  for  twenty-five  hundred  dollars,  be- 
came ultimately 'my  warm  friend.*  On  his  return  from 
Portugal,  he  presented  me  with  a  pair  of  Spanish  hogs, 
which  he  imported.  Such  are  the  changes  in  fortune  and 
politics. 

As  the  True  American  contest  is  fully  set  forth  in  my 
published   "Life   and  Writings,"   and    also   in   Henry  Wil- 

*The  following  letter  was  written  in  1845.  On  my  recovery 
from  my  illness,  I  sued  the  Revolutionary  Committee ;  but  the  court 
declared  the  True  American  a  nuisance,  under  the  old  English  com- 
mon law,  which,  if  ever  applicable  to  the  Press,  was  expressly  abro- 
gated by  all  our  constitutions  sustaining  the  liberty  of  such  utterances, 
being  only  liable  to  civil  damages  for  the  abuse,  in  legal  process. 
This  my  mother,  as  well  as  myself,  foresaw.  I  so  far,  however,  took 
her  advice,  that  I  waited  till  my  return  from  Mexico  before  I  took 
more  formal  proceedings  against  the  mob.  Then  I  recovered  $2,500 
damages.  Of  course,  she  could  not  take  as  broad  a  view  of  the 
situation  as  I.  My  prominent  friends  were  slave-holders!  Henry 
C.  Payne,  my  blood  relative  and  uncle  by  marriage,  a  cotton-planter, 
with  his  sons,  were  opposed  to  my  views,  but  ready  to  fight  in 
defense  of  my  life.  And  so  were  many  of  those  who  were  of  the 
Committee  of  Sixty  my  friends.  But  when  repeated  messengers 
would  come,  stating  the  bloody  purposes  of  the  mob,  he  and 
others  were  anxious  to  have  me  give  up  the  freedom  of  the  press; 
but  my  mother,  seeing  the  firmness  of  my  purpose,  and  the  crit- 
ical state  of  my  health,  said :  ' '  Cassius,  do  n't  give  up  any  thing 
you  think  it  your  duty  to  defend."  And  this  greatly  strengthened 
and  relieved  me,   in   my  extremity.       And  now,   in  this  letter,   she 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  IO9 

son's  "Slave-Power,"  I  need  only  say  here  that  the  mob 
was  utterly  defeated  in  all  their  ends.  I  was  not  killed; 
and  the  American,  published  in  Cincinnati,  and  edited  by 
me  at  Lexington,  increased  in  circulation  in  Kentucky  and 
the  Union  generally,  till  I  went  to  the  Mexican  War. 

In  the  Slave-States  the  political  forces  are  quite  diffe- 
ent  from  those  of  the  Free-States.  In  the  former,  the 
great  mass  of  the  voters  could  not  read ;  and  they  were 
led  by  political  speakers  on  the  stump,  where  the  orators 
of  both  parties  made  their  appeals.  It  was,  therefore,  all 
important  to  the  successful  progress  of  my  cause,  that  I 
should  add  to  the  liberty  of  the  press  the  liberty  of  pub- 
lic discussion.  My  experience  at  Russell's  Cave  warned 
me  that  I  must  have  some  more  personal  force  in  my  be- 
half than  the  advocacy  of  the  freedom  of  the  slave,  and 
against  whom  the  non-slaveholders  felt  enmity  rather  than 

shows  eminent  good  sense,  and  sustains  her  first  action :  "If  you 
prefer  death  to  dishonor,  so  do  I."  The  mother  of  the  Gracci, 
in  her  celebrated  advice  to  her  children,  but  repeated  the  com- 
mon sentiment  of  the  Roman  people;  but  whoever  before,  in  the 
world's  history,  stood  so  sublimely  in  defense  of  a  moral  princi- 
ple?—C.    1885. 

LETTER    OF    SALLY    LEWIS    DUDLEY. 

Cassius,  my  son,  once  more  I  beg  to  impress  on  your  mind  your  real  situa- 
tion. You  have  acted  imprudently,  and  I  can  not  deny  my  conviction  of  the  truth, 
although  my  great  and  ardent  affection  for  you  would  make  me  bury  all  your  wrongs 
in  everlasting  forgetfulness.  However  pure  your  motives  may  have  been,  you  have 
acted  in  a  way  to  give  your  enemies  plausible  means  to  take  advantage  of  you. 
My  son,  look  back;  you  can  not  look  into  futurity.  All  your  friends,  or,  at  least, 
your  best  friends,  were  opposed  to  your  printing  that  paper,  because  they  knew 
your  quick  and  hasty  temper  would  bring  you  into  difficulties.  They  knew  you 
were  opposed  to  being  advised,  and  they  went  as  far  as  they  thought  it  was  proper 
to  go;  and  now  you  see  you  are  overpowered.  Your  friends  stood  by  and  con- 
sented by  silence  to  what  was  done.  They  believed  you  could  never  carry  on  that 
paper.  I  advised  you  to  be  mild  in  your  course.  Be  still  until  you  can  see  your 
way  clear.  If  you  act  hastily,  your  life  is  lost.  If  you  prefer  death  to  dishonor, 
so  do  I.  Where  is  your  redress?  Can  you  sue  the  very  people,  who  have  to  try 
and  give  judgment  in  your  case,  and  expect  justice?  No;  give  it  up,  at  least  for 
the  present.  I  want  you  to  see  your  brother  (Brutus  J.  Clay),  and  talk  freely  with 
him.  Never  mind  Mr.  Smith's  jokes  (John  Speed  Smith).  No  person  has  advised 
me  to  write  this  letter;  neither  do  any  know  I  have  done  it.  Your  mother.  That 
is  enough.     Farewell! 


IIO  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

sympathy.  For  one  of  the  methods  of  the  slave-power 
was  to  encourage  this  enmity  between  parties  who  were 
really  natural  allies  in  a  common  progress. 

Kentuckians  being  exceptionally,  from  their  early  his- 
tory, fond  of  military  glory,  I  hoped  by  the  Mexican 
War  to  strengthen  myself  so  that  I  could  take  the 
stump,  where  I  would  be  an  over-match  for  all  my  foes ; 
when,  if  deemed  necessary,  the  True  American  could 
be  located  at  some  point  secure  against  mobs,  and  act 
as  an  ally  of  public  discussion.  The  result  proved  that  I 
was  right.  * 

*  Correspondence  between  the  Committee  appointed  by  a  meeting  of  the 

citizens  of  Cincinnati,   held  on  the  25  th  of  August,   and  Cassias 

M.    Clay: 

LETTER    OF    COMMITTEE. 

Cincinnati,  August  27,   1845. 
Cassius  M.  Clay,   Esq.,   Lexington,  Ky. 

Sir  : — We  hand  you  inclosed  a  report  of  the  proceedings  of  a  large  and  re- 
spectable portion  of  the  citizens  of  this  city,  in  public  meeting  assembled,  and  a 
series  of  resolutions  by  them  adopted,  expressive  of  their  views  and  feelings  relative 
to  the  late  violation  of  your  rights,  the  illegal  seizure  of  your  printing  press  of  the 
True  American,  and  its  deportation  to  this  city. 

You  will  observe  that  we  are  charged  as  a  Committee  "to  correspond  with  you 
concerning  the  custody  and  disposition  of  the  Press,  and  to  take  such  measures  in 
relation  to  it  as  with  your  concurrence  may  be  deemed  advisable." 

Understanding  that  the  press  duly  arrived  at  this  city,  and  is  in  charge  of  the 
respectable  commission-house  to  which  it  was  consigned,  and  that  it  has  been  in- 
sured against  loss  or  damage  by  fire  for  a  short  time,  we  presume  that  at  present 
you  do  not  need  any  services  from  us  concerning  it.  But  when  you  shall  have 
recovered  your  health  and  strength,  and  when  you  shall  resume  the  noble  work  of 
aiding  your  fellow-citizens  in  their  deliverance  from  an  enormous  social  evil  exist- 
ing among  them,  by  the  adoption  of  measures  and  means  to  that  end  which  are 
deemed  safe,  practical,  peaceable,  and  salutary  to  all  concerned ;  and  when,  in  fur- 
therance of  that  object,  you  may  again  wish  to  arm  yourself  with  that  great  instru- 
ment of  life  and  liberty  —  the  Printing  Press  —  we  shall  be  happy  to  co-operate  with 
you,  and  render  any  services  in  our  power. 

Your  exasperated  opponents,  when  the  day  of  passion  shall  have  passed,  will 
doubtless  discover  that  the  war  they  have  waged  against  the  voice  that  uttered,  and 
the  instrument  that  conveyed  abroad  those  unwelcome  principles  and  truths,  has 
neither  destroyed  nor  in  the  least  changed  those  principles  and  truths;  and  that  the 
only  mode  by  which  they  can  render  them  harmless  and  beneficent  to  themselves  is 
by  bringing  themselves  and  their  civil  and  social  institutions  into  harmony  with  them. 

Permit  us  to  remind  you  of  the  fact  that  the  eyes  of  the  advocates  of  freedom, 
the  enlightenment  and  the  elevation  of  all  men  throughout  the  world,  are  upon  you; 
and  that  their  sympathies  are   with   you  in   the   high  and  holy  work   in  which  you 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  Ill 

The  most  interesting  event  of  the  Secret  History  of 
the  Confederacy  has  just  come  to  light.  About  January 
2,  1864,  General  Joseph  E.  Johnston,  then  General-in-Chief 

have  so  fearlessly  engaged.     May  you  be  sustained  in  the  conflict  with  error  and  evil 
by  a  light  and  power  from  on  high,  and  may  you  ultimately  reap  that  highest  of  all 
rewards,   the  approbation  of  God,  of  all  good  men,   and  of  your  own  conscience. 
Such  is  the  earnest  wish  and  hope  of  your  fellow-citizens, 
Signed :  Benj.  Urner,  Geo.  W.  Phillips, 

Jas.  S.  Glascoe,       R.  G.  Mitchell, 
Jacob  Ernst,  Jas.  Calhoun, 

Oliver  Lovell,  Committee. 


ANSWER    OF   CASSIUS    M.    CLAY. 

Lexington,  Ky.,  September  4,   1845. 
Benj.    Urner,  James  S.    Glascoe,  Jacob  Ernst,    Oliver  Lovell,    Geo.    W.   Phillips,   R.    G. 

Mitchell,  James  Calhoun. 

Gentlemen: — I  have  just  received  your  letter  of  the  27th  ult.,  inclosing  the 
proceedings  of  the  citizens  of  Cincinnati,   and  their  resolutions  in  public  meeting. 

Their  words  of  kindness  and  generous  appreciation,  and  noble  and  dignified 
avowal,  have  moved  me  more  than  all  the  studied  cruelties  and  wrongs  of  my 
enemies;  though  I  was  unnerved  by  disease,  and  threatened,  for  long  days  and 
nights,   with  a  horrible  death. 

I  thank  you,  that  you  have  not  allowed  the  calumnious  manifesto  of  the  revo- 
lutionists of  the  18th  of  August  to  weaken  your  confidence  in  my  loyalty  to  the  con- 
stitution and  laws.  I  thank  you,  that  you  have  seen  nothing  in  the  past  to  cause  you 
to  lose  confidence  in  the  future,  that  my  "measures  and  means"  will  be  "safe,  prac- 
tical, and  peaceable."  I  thank  you,  that  you  deem  my  "work  high  and  holy,"  and 
for  the  reverent  and  soul-sustaining  invocation  of  Divine  protection  on  me  and  on  it. 

You,  gentlemen,  have  taken  me  upon  trust ;  the  time  for  my  defense  will  come 
with  my  re-established  health,  when,  I  venture  to  say,  your  sentence  will  not  be 
revoked  by  "Kentucky  and  the  world." 

I  shall  allude  now  to  only  one  charge  going  the  rounds  of  the  papers  —  that 
there  was  a  compromise  between  me  and  the  rebels  of  the  18th;  and  -that  I  agreed  to 
discontinue  the  publication  of  the  True  American  provided  they  would  spare  the' 
press.  It  is  not  necessary  for  me  to  say  to  you,  who  have  seen  my  letter  addressed 
to  the  meeting,  as  well  as  my  previous  handbills  addressed  to  the  people,  that  this 
story  is  calumnious  and  morally  impossible.  It  is  enough  that  the  Committee  of  Sixty 
have  authorized  the  Lexington  Observer  and  Reporter  to  state  that  no  such  proposition 
came  from  me  or  any  of  my  friends.  This  attempt,  therefore,  to  degrade  me,  on  the 
part  of  those  who  failed  to  destroy  me,  is  of  a  piece  with  this  whole  outrage  of  cruelty 
and  wrong,  as  I  shall  be  able  to  show  as  soon  as  my  health  will  allow. 

I  hope  I  shall  also  be  able  to  show,  that  I  am  neither  a  "madman"  nor  a 
"fanatic." 

They  who  sent  back  from  Thermopylae  the  sublime  message,  "Go  tell  it  at  Lace- 
dcemon  that  we  died  here  in  obedience  to  her  laws ;  "  the  Roman  who  returned  to 
captivity  and  to  death  that  his  country  might  be  saved;  Sydney,  Hampden,  and  Rus- 
sell; Emmet,  who  uttered  the  mighty  instincts  of  a  great  soul,  "The  man  dies,  but 
his  memory  lives;"  Adams,  who  exclaimed,  "Survive  or  perish,  I  am   for  the  decla 


112  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

of  the  Confederate  army  at  Dalton,  called  a  council  of 
his  corps  and  division  commanders,  to  consider  the  mem- 
orial of  Major-General  Cleburne,  which  was  first  approved 

ration;"  Henry,  who  cried,  "Give  me  liberty,  or  give  me  death," — were  all,  in  the 
eyes  of  these  men,  "madmen"  and  "fanatics." 

It  was  necessary  that  some  one  should  bear  the  standard  of  Liberty  into  the 
enemy's  camp ;  and  by  so  doing,  whether  he  stood  or  fell,  arouse  this  great  nation 
from  the  lethargy  and  death  which  have  come  over  the  spirit  of  a  once  free  people. 
It  has  been  the  policy  of  wise  statesmen  in  all  ages,  to  clothe  the  humblest  citizen 
with  the  concentrated  power  and  inviolability  of  the  whole  empire.  It  was  enough  for 
one  amidst  the  wildest  barbarians  to  say,  "  I  am  a  Roman  citizen,"  and  he  was  safe. 
No  country  in  Europe  is  so  careful  of  individual  and  national  glory  as  France,  the  first 
nation  of  Europe;  and  England,  but  a  few  years  ago,  was  ready  to  peril  her  thirty 
millions  of  lives  on  the  rescue  of  a  single  subject.  It  can  not,  therefore,  be  less  than 
madness  in  the  American  people,  if  they  expect  long  to  live  as  a  nation,  and  not  to 
fall  an  easy  sacrifice  to  foreign  aggression  or  internal  anarchy  and  despotism,  to  look 
coldly  on,  whenever  the  humblest  of  those  contending  for  constitutional  liberty  and 
national  honor  are  overborne  and  trampled  down  in  the  battle.  Surely  that  nation 
can  not  long  live,  far  less  be  free,  that  sees,  time  after  time,  whatever  of  spirit  and 
manly  independence  may  any  where  exhibit  itself,  crushed  and  utterly  extinguished. 

I  thank  you,  then,  and  the  people  of  Cincinnati,  my  fellow-citizens  —  men 
gathered  under  the  same  national  Constitution,  to  which  I  owe  allegiance,  and 
which  owes  me  protection ;  brothers  of  the  same  blood,  inheriting  the  same  proud 
recollections  of  the  past,  and  looking  in  the  future  to  the  same  inseperable  destiny  — 
that  you  have  not  cowered  before  the  slave-power ;  but  that  you  have  stood  by  the 
friendless,  the  powerless,  the  fallen,  and  dared  to  speak  out  for  constitutional  repub- 
licanism and  eternal  justice,  which  have  been  violated  in  my  person.  Above  all,  am 
I  deeply  affected  by  the  fact,  that  you  assembled  in  "  mass  meeting  "  without  distinc- 
tion of  party;  and,  as  both  parties  here  were  lost  in  overwhelming  subservience  to 
slavery,  so  you  of  the  Free  States  begin  to  unite  in  the  defense  of  your  own  rights, 
and  in  the  cause  of  national  liberty. 

If  the  Whigs  and  Democrats  and  Liberty  Men  shall  become  really  what  they 
assume,  then  is  half  my  "work"  accomplished,  and  the  Republic  safe;  for,  though 
my  State  should  sink  into  irrevocable  despotism,  there  will  still  be  left  somewhere  on 
this  wide  continent  a  home  for  the  exile  and  the  oppressed. 

With  regard  to  the  Press,  I  would  briefly  remark,  that  my  banner,  "God  and 
Liberty,"  will  never  be  struck. 

Though  overpowered  by  numbers,  I  have  the  same  unconquerable  will  and  defi- 
ant spirit,  as  though  the  day  had  not  gone  against  me.  It  is  for  those  who  fight  for 
the  wrong,  to  despair  in  defeat. 

I  shall  not  "die  through  mortification,"  as  my  enemies  would  have  it.  I  trust 
that  I  shall  yet  live  to  see  those  who,  on  the  18th  of  August,  1845,  rose  in  arms,  over- 
powered the  civil  authorities,  and  overthrew  the  constitutional  liberties  of  the  State, 
and  established  on  its  ruins  an  irresponsible  despotism,  hurled  from  their  usurped 
places  of  fancied  security,  and  Kentucky  yet  made  free. 

If,  however,  this  be  a  vain  hope,  still  I  will  not  repine;  for  I  should  feel  prouder 
to  have  fallen  with  her  honor,  than  to  have  ingloriously  triumphed  with  my  enemies 
over  the  grave  of  the  liberties  of  my  country.  With  gratitude  and  admiration,  I  am 
your  friend  and  obedient  servant,  C.  M.  Clay. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  II3 

by  the  brigadier  commanders  of  his  division.     I  quote  from 
the   Ci?icinnati   Commercial -Gazette  of  March,    1885: 

"The  points  of  it  [the  memorial]  have  been  preserved,  as  ex- 
plained below: 

"synopsis  of  cleburne's  memorial. 

"It  urged  on  the  Confederate  Congress  'the  emancipation  of 
all  slaves,  and  their  conscription  into  the  army.'     He  claimed: 

"1.  Such  a  course  would  relieve  the  Southern  people  of  a 
yearly  tax,  an  unproductive  consumption,  because  the  slave  con- 
sumed more  than  his  profits;  thus  distinguishing  the  profit  of  the 
negro  from  the  profit  of  cotton. 

"2.   It  would  animate  the  undying  gratitude  of  that  race. 

"3.  It  would  create  in  the  negro  a  greater  self-respect  and 
ambition. 

' '  4.  With  gratitude  and  ambition,  the  service  of  the  soldier 
would  be  both  reliable  and  valuable. 

"5.  That  the  moral  effect  throughout  the  world,  but  especially 
in  Europe,  would  be  generally  strengthening  and  beneficial  to  the 
South. 

' '  6.  That  the  result  would  be  the  signal  for  immediate  Euro- 
pean recognition,  and,  indeed,  action.  Germany  and  Italy  would 
have  been  disarmed  of  their  prejudice,  Napoleon  would  imme- 
diately have  been  encouraged  to  become  a  Lafayette,  and  Great 
Britain  would  not  have  been  afraid  to  back  him  in  Parliamentary 
declaration,  no  matter  how  the  working  classes  would  have  felt. 

"7.  That  it  would  raise  the  blockade,  and  give  us  provisions 
and  clothing." 

' '  The  memorial  was  a  lengthy  one,  each  point  being  amplified 
and  argued.  The  paper  itself  can  not  be  found.  General  Cleburne 
destroyed  his  own  copy,  and  a  copy  sent  to  Richmond  at  the  time 
is  not  to  be  found  in  the  captured  archives.  The  above  points 
were  preserved  by  Major  Charles  S.  Hill,  the  accomplished  statis- 
tician of  the  State  Department,  who  was  Cleburne's  Chief  of  Ar- 
tillery at  the  time  the  memorial  was  prepared. 

' '  The  papers  following  present  the  story  of  this  plan  of  Cle- 
burne's, and  the  action  taken  upon  it,  so  far  as  it  is  preserved  in 
that  portion  of  the  Confederate  archives  now  in  possession  of  the 
Government." 

Vol.  I.— 8 


114  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

The  council  refused  unanimously  to  adopt  the  mem- 
orial, except  General  Cleburne's  division  officers ;  and 
General  Johnston  refused  to  forward  it  to  the  Confed- 
erate Government,  and  burned  it.  It,  however,  reached 
President  Davis,  who  declared,  through  the  Secretary  of 
War,  that  — 

' '  The  motives  of  zeal  and  patriotism  which  have 
prompted  General  Walker's  action  are,  however,  fully  appreciated; 
and  that  action  is  probably  fortunate,  as  it  affords  an  appropriate 
occasion  to  express  the  earnest  conviction  of  the  President  that  the 
dissemination  or  even  promulgation  of  such  opinions  under  the 
present  circumstances  of  the  Confederacy,  whether  in  the  army  or 
among  the  people,  can  be  productive  only  of  discouragement,  dis- 
traction, and  dissension.  The  agitation  and  controversy  which  must 
spring  from  the  presentation  of  such  views  by  officers  high  in  pub- 
lic confidence  are  to  be  deeply  deprecated ;  and,  while  no  doubt  or 
mistrust  is  for  a  moment  entertained  of  the  patriotic  intents  of  the 
gallant  author  of  the  memorial,  and  such  of  his  brother  officers  as 
may  have  favored  his  opinion,  it  is  requested  that  you  will  com- 
municate to  them,  as  well  as  all  others  present  on  the  occasion, 
the  opinions  as  herein  expressed  of  the  President,  and  urge  on 
them  the  suppression,  not  only  of  the  memorial  itself,  but  likewise 
of  all  discussion  and  controversy  respecting  or  growing  out  of  it. 
I  would  add  that  the  measures  advocated  in  the  memorial  are  con- 
sidered little  appropriate  for  consideration  in  military  circles,  and 
indeed  in  their  scope  pass  beyond  the  bounds  of  Confederate 
action,  and  could  under  our  constitutional  system  neither  be  com- 
mended by  the  Executive  to  Congress,  nor  be  entertained  by  that 
body. 

' '  Such  views  can  only  jeopard  among  the  States  and  people 
unity  and  harmony,  when,  for  successful  co-operation  and  the 
achievement  of  independence,   both  are  essential. 

"With  much  respect,  very  truly  yours, 

"James  A.  Seddon, 
"Secretary  of  I  Far." 

On  the  6th  of  October,  1864,  the  Richmond  Enquirer  began 
a  vigorous  support  of  the  proposition.  The  next  session  of  the 
Confederate  Congress  authorized  the  arming  of  the  negroes ;  and, 
just  before  the  surrender,  their  enlistment  began  about  Richmond. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  I  I  c 

It  was  too  late.  General  Hood,  in  his  recent  work,  "Advance 
and  Retreat,"  in  mentioning  the  death  of  Cleburne  at  the  bat- 
tle of  Franklin,  thus  records  his  mature  judgment  on  the  pro- 
position which  he  failed  to  defend  before  the  Council  of  War  at 
Dalton : 

' '  He  (Cleburne)  possessed  the  boldness  and  the  wisdom  to 
earnestly  advocate,  at  an  early  period  of  the  war,  the  freedom  of 
the  negro,  and  the  enrollment  of  the  young  and  able-bodied  of  the 
race.  This  stroke  of  policy  and  additional  source  of  strength 
to  our  armies  would,  in  my  opinion,  have  given  us  our  inde- 
pendence." 

There  is  no  more  interesting  chapter  than  this  among  the  un- 
published portions  of  the  Confederate  records.  —  H.  V.  B. 

Such  are  briefly  the  principal  points  of  the  movement, 
as  given  by  the  Commercial  -Gazette  s  correspondent,  H. 
V.  B.,  which  I  propose  to  consider  now.  The  proposi- 
tion made  by  Cleburne  was  substantially  the  one  made 
by  me  to  Lincoln  in  1862;  and  which,  as  will  be  seen 
hereafter,  was  adopted  by  him  and  the  Republican  Party, 
with  what  result  the  world  knows.  But,  whilst  it  was 
wise  in  us  to  liberate  and  use  the  slaves  as  soldiers, 
Davis  was  wise  in  the  refusal  to  do  so,  because  none 
knew  better  than  he  that  the  non-slaveholders,  composing 
the  great  element  of  voters  and  soldiers,  had  no  interest 
whatever  in  the  continued  existence  of  slavery ;  and  that 
they  were  driven  into  the  Rebel  armies  by  their  insane 
hatred  of  the  blacks,  who  were  their  rivals  in  work  and 
social  position,  with  the  additional  differences  of  color  and 
race.  Why  does  the  Irish  emigre,  and  the  American  as 
well,  hate  the  Chinese  and  blacks?  For  similar  reasons. 
The  unintelligent  Southern  white  laborers  there  desired 
the  continuance  of  slavery,  and  fought  for  it.  Now,  had 
Davis  liberated  them,  and  put  them  in  the  army,  the  great 
mass  of  his  white  soldiers  would  have  deserted ! 

Again,  the  object  of  the  great  mass  of  Southerners, 
with  a  few  ambitious  Rebels,  who  fought  for  power,  was 
to  conserve   slavery ;    and,  that   gone,   the   old   Union   was 


Il6  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

theirs  without  a  fight !  When,  therefore,  this  scheme  was 
adopted  in  the  last  extremity,  I  imagine  it  but  hastened 
the  end.  It  was  this  knowledge  which  drove  me  into  the 
Democratic  ranks  in  the  restoration  of  State  autonomy, 
and  which  caused  me  to  take  ground  against  our  friends, 
Sherman  and  Hoar,  who  favored  armed  interference  in  the 
South,  in  the  late  canvass  of  1884. 

The  moment  you  introduce  National  bayonets  into  the 
South  to  suppress  even  the  despotic  action  of  the  Demo- 
cratic Party,  in  the  overthrow  of  the  right  of  the  colored 
citizens  of  the  Republic  to  vote,  you  threaten  a  war  of 
races ;  and  in  such  contest  the  whites  will  stand  almost  as 
a  unit.  The  true  remedy  of  the  colored  man's  wrong 
must  be  the  division  of  the  blacks  of  the  South  them- 
selves into  Republicans  and  Democrats.  In  my  opinion, 
however  long  deferred,  this  is  the  only  remedy.  It  may 
come  out  of  a  National  Democratic  rule ;  but  I  think  a 
Solid  North  is  the  best  way  to  break  up  a  Solid  South, 
and  restore  self-government  to  the  American  people. 


CHAPTER   VII 


The  Mexican  War. — James  S.  Jackson. — Col.  H.  Marshall. — Buffalo  Hunt- 
ing.—  Comanche  Hunting  Camps. — Tigers.  —  Rough  Surgery. — Morning 
Light. — A  Snake  Story. — The  First  Shot. — A  Mule's  Sagacity.  —  Lost 
for  Days  on  our  Return  Trip. — K's  Despondency. — A  Night  with  Rob- 
bers.— My  School-mate  Desperado. — After  Tragedy  a  Comedy. — Arrival 
at  last  at  Lavaca. 


AS  I  had,  in  several  speeches  against  the  annexation 
of  Texas,  predicted  that  such  would  bring  on  war, 
the  South  was  not  surprised  at  my  course ;  whilst  the 
North,  not  having  noted  my  promises,  and  not  under- 
standing my  motives,  were  for  the  time  alienated  from 
me.  On  volunteering,  I  took  my  position  in  the  ranks ;  but 
I  had  the  promise  of  Governor  Wm.  Owsley,  through  his 
son-in-law,  Judge  Wm.  C.  Goodloe,  that  I  should  be  made 
Colonel  of  a  regiment,  as  I  had  thrown  the  delegation 
from  Fayette  in  his  favor  for  nominee  for  the  executive 
office  by  the  Whig  Party.  But,  when  the  slave-power 
heard  of  this  scheme ;  as  I  was  told,  the  Governor  re- 
ceived a  "barrel  of  letters,"  protesting  against  my  ap- 
pointment. Thus  I  found  myself  in  the  ranks  of  the 
"Old  Infantry,"  instead  of  being  Colonel.  This  company 
was,  in  the  War  of  1812,  under  the  command  of  my  father, 
General  Green  Clay ;  and  it  had  continued  organized  till 
the  Mexican  War,  when  it  was  received  by  the  Govern- 
ment as  part  of  Colonel  Humphrey  Marshall's  regiment 
of  mounted  men.  I  had  been  its  Captain ;  and  it  com- 
posed, also,  one  of  the  companies  of  the  Fayette  Legion, 
of  which  I  had  also  been  Colonel. 

In  the  meantime,  Wm.  R.  McKee,  my  old  school- 
mate, having  been  educated  at  West  Point,  also  volun- 
teered  in  the   army  of   invasion.      Hearing  that   Governor 

117 


I  1 8  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

Owsley  would  surely  make  me  Colonel  of  the  new  regi- 
ment, he  came  to  Lexington,  and  asked  me  to  decline  in 
his  favor,  as  he  believed  the  companies  would  recommend 
him,  and  the  Governor  would  appoint  him.  I  liked 
McKee.  He  had  been  my  second  in  the  fight  with 
Wickliffe,  and  was  a  gallant  fellow.  So  I  said  to  him : 
"The  Old  Infantry  are  now  in  their  quarters  for  night- 
drill  ;  go  down  and  see  them,  and  let  them  decide  be- 
tween us."  So,  going  down,  he  returned,  and  said, 
that  they  were  for  me,  and  he  gave  it  up ;  and,  turn- 
ing his  attention  to  the  infantry  in  other  parts  of  the 
State,  was  made  Colonel  of  Infantry,  and  fell  gallantly 
fighting  at  the  head  of  his  command  at  Buena  Vista. 

Humphrey  Marshall,  another  graduate  of  West  Point, 
was  made  Colonel,  and  his  cousin,  Thomas  F.  Marshall, 
of  Woodford,  was  one  of  the  Captains  of  the  regiment. 
We  were  mustered  into  service  at  Louisville ;  carried  to 
Memphis,  Tennessee,  by  water,  and  went  mounted  by  land 
to  Mexico. 

In  the  meantime,  James  S.  Jackson,  my  friend,  was 
chosen  Captain  of  the  "Old  Infantry,"  and  I  was  muster- 
ing along  the  streets  of  Lexington,  with  my  musket  on 
shoulder.  Now  the  slave-power  was  exultant,  and  said: 
"We  have  him  now;  he  will  never  return  alive,  and  we 
will  be  shut  of  the  damned  agitator."  But  I  here  re- 
ceived the  greatest  honor  ever  given  an  American  citizen. 
The  gallant  Jackson,  when  he  saw  that  Governor  Owsley 
had  betrayed  me,  and  that  the  aristocracy  were  trium- 
phant over  my  supposed  disgrace,  called  the  company  to- 
gether in  the  court-house  yard ;  and,  without  giving  me 
the  least  hint  in  advance,  addressed  the  soldiers,  and,  re- 
signing, nominated  me  as  Captain.  I  was  unanimously 
elected  ;  Mason  Brown,  the  son  of  Samuel  Brown,  voting 
for  me,  being  the  Second  Lieutenant  of  the  company. 
Jackson  then  took  my  place  in  the  ranks,  and  messed 
with  me  till  I  was  made  prisoner  at  Encarnacion.  More 
of  him  hereafter. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


II9 


At  Louisville,  on  the  night  before  we  set  out  for 
Memphis,  some  of  our  soldiers,  having  deserted,  took  ref- 
uge in  a  house  of  ill-fame.  Colonel  Marshall  ordered  me 
to  surround  the  house,  and  bring  them  into  camp.  I  did 
so.  A  shot  was  fired  from  the  house ;  and  the  men,  ex- 
asperated, broke  up  some  of  the  furniture.  On  my  re- 
turn home,  my  enemies,  to  annoy  me,  had  me  sued  for 
damages,  and  the  jury  brought  in  a  verdict  against  me. 
It  was  held  that  I  had  violated  the  civil  rights  of  citizens 
illegally;  but,  as  I  acted  under  orders  which  I  dared  not 
disobey,  the  National  Government,  as  in  the  case  of  Gen- 
eral Andrew  Jackson,  under  like  circumstances  at  New 
Orleans,  promptly  refunded  me  the  money. 

From  Memphis,  we  went  over  swamps,  lagoons,  and 
rivers  to  Little  Rock,  the  capital  of  Arkansas.  There 
we  were  well  received  and  feasted ;  and  one  of  the  loveli- 
est of  the  Arkansas  girls  gave  me  a  beautiful  red  ostrich 
feather  for  my  cap,  which  I  wore  off  on  the  march  in  tri- 
umph over  all  the  young  fellows  of  the  regiment. 

As  commissary  stores,  etc.,  had  to  be  gathered  at  La- 
vaca, in  Texas,  on  the  Gulf,  believing  that  some  delay 
and  leisure  would  ensue,  I  got  leave  of  absence  for  some 
days  from  our  commander  to  hunt  buffalo,  then  said  to 
be  on  the  north-western  line  of  the  settlements.  So, 
taking  J.  K.,  a  courageous  soldier  from  Captain  Milam's 
company,  and  an  extra  pack-mule,  with  fly-tent  and  pro- 
visions, we  went  by  the  way  of  the  Hot  Springs,  then 
having  but  a  few  rude  cabins,  where  now  a  great  city 
begins  to  rise.  In  a  few  days,  having  crossed  the  Red 
River  at  Shreveport,  and  taking  by  a  pocket-compass  a 
north-westerly  course,  we  were  soon  beyond  the  settle- 
ments, and  in  the  wild  prairies  of  the  Comanches  and 
the  buffaloes. 

These  prairies  were  gently  undulating,  so  that  the  riv- 
ulets seemed,  by  an  optical  illusion,  to  run  uphill.  They 
were  devoid  of  trees,  but  full  of  tall  grass  and  wild 
flowers   of  infinite    color,   grace,    and    beauty.       There   was 


120  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

no  animal  life ;  but  the  flowers  seemed  to  give  the  pleas- 
ure of  association,  and  filled  the  eye  with  their  novel  love- 
liness ;  and  their  odor,  of  the  most  profuse  and  delicate 
flavors,  intoxicated  the  senses.  Occasionally  a  thread  of 
trees  and  wild  rye  marked  some  distant  rivulet,  where  the 
early  rains  had  developed  unusual  vegetation. 

It  was  now  October,  but  the  air  was  as  balmy  as  in 
June;  and  the  blood  flowed  merrily  through  our  veins, 
making  existence  itself  a  pleasure.  The  great  rivers  of 
Texas  flow  approximately  north  and  south,  spreading  out 
into  fan-shaped  upper  waters,  rivers,  creeks,  and  rivulets. 
During  the  winter  rains  they  are  flush,  and  wash  deep 
holes  in  their  beds  ;  in  the  summer  and  fall  few  streams 
flow,  but  "water-holes"  are  the  places  where  the  In- 
dians and  wild  animals  are  supplied,  till  the  rains  are 
renewed. 

After  a  long  day's  travel,  toward  eve  one  day  we  saw 
a  pencil-mark  line  on  the  distant  horizon,  which  we  knew 
at  once  to  be  water,  or  at  least  a  water-path.  These 
water-courses  are  invariably  covered  with  shrubs,  trees, 
and  vines,  thickly  set,  which  may  best  be  termed  "jun- 
gles;" and  near  these,  for  shade  and  water,  all  animal  life 
gathers.  Near  dark  we  reached  the  jungle,  and  crossed 
the  bed  of  the  rivulet  to  the  west  side,  where  we  found 
a  newly-deserted  Indian  camp,  and  knew  that  water  could 
be  most  surely  found  near  by.  I  pitched  our  tent,  tethered 
our  two  horses  and  the  gray  mule  "Billy,"  and  made  a 
fire  to  boil  our  coffee,  whilst  K.  went  in  search  of  water. 
He  was  not  long  gone  before  he  found  a  fine  "water- 
hole"  or  pool,  at  which  we  watered  our  horses  and  filled 
our  canteens. 

In  this  camp  there  was  nothing  but  structures  for  dry- 
ing buffalo-meat.  These  are  made  by  setting  four  forks 
of  wood,  cut  with  their  hatchets,  reaching  about  six  or 
seven  feet  above  the  ground.  Upon  these  are  laid  cross 
sticks,  and  again  upon  these  other  cross  sticks  are  set, 
upon  which  the  buffalo  or  other  meat,   cut   in  long  strips, 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS  CLAY.  121 

is  wound  around,  as  pumpkin  is  cured  in  the  mountain 
portions  of  Kentucky  by  the  poorer  families.  As  the 
meat  is  set,  a  fire  is  kindled  under  it,  which  smokes 
away  the  flies,  and,  with  the  aid  of  the  sun,  so  dries  it 
that  it  is  ready  to  pack  and  keep  without  salt  in  the  hot- 
test weather.  In  other  camps  I  found  the  temporary  bed- 
steads of  the  savages,  made  of  two  short  pieces,  say  six 
inches  in  diameter,  then  two  poles  seven  feet  long  laid 
upon  these,  and  again  smaller  cross  pieces,  upon  which  I 
suppose  the  buffalo  skins  were  laid.  Over  one  of  these 
bedsteads  small  boughs  were  bent,  like  the  willows  of  a 
child's  wagon-body,  over  which  no  doubt  hides  were  spread 
to  keep  off  dew  and  rain.  So  even  the  hardy  Indians 
take  care  to  avoid  the  damp,  which,  in  sleep  especially, 
is  so  fatal  to  animal  life.  This  bedstead  was,  no  doubt, 
for  the  chief  of  the  gang. 

In  the  Indian  towns,  of  course,  huts  of  high  poles  and 
skins  are  made ;  but,  in  their  rapid  movements,  the  Co- 
manches  lie  on  the  ground  upon  their  skins,  or  on  these 
temporary  bedsteads,  which  are  made  only,  I  suppose, 
when  they  have  found  plenty  of  game  for  some  time's 
use.  All  these  days  we  had  not  seen  a  living  thing, 
neither  bird  nor  animal,  and  the  reason  was  plain  —  all 
these  take  up  their  quarters  near  the  water  and  shade, 
where  food  is  also  plenty. 

Having  adjusted  things  for  the  night,  we  laid  down  in 
our  fly-tent  to  sleep.  Here  we  were,  for  the  first  time  in 
our  lives,  several  day's  travel  from  the  extreme  borders 
of  civilization,  in  a  recent  Indian  camp  of  the  treacherous 
Comanches,  who  acknowledged  no  law  but  force,  sur- 
rounded by  we  knew  not  what  ferocious  animals.  So 
"kind  nature's  sweet  restorer"  was  slow  to  close  our  eye- 
lids. Far  down  the  ravine  we  heard,  as  we  thought,  the 
low  growl  of  the  tiger;  one,  two,  three,  and  then  more 
and  more,  as  if  they  had  caught  the  scent  of  meat,  or 
our  horses,  and  were  evidently  coming  nearer  and  nearer, 
and  increasing  in  numbers  as  they  approached  us. 


122  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

K.  had  hardly  ever  been  out  of  cities,  and  I,  though 
familiar  with  our  Kentucky  game,  deers,  bears,  etc.,  had 
no  idea  what  these  voices  were.  He  sprang  to  his  feet, 
rekindled  the  fire,  and  seized  his  rifle.  I  followed  suit; 
and,  being  prepared,  we  stood  to  our  arms,  as  we  specu- 
lated about  whence  came  these  unheard-of  sounds.  At 
length  we  concluded  that  it  was  the  Mexican  tiger,  or 
leopard,  which  had  made  its  way  to  these  unfrequented 
woods.  If  they  should  attack  us,  or  our  horses,  we 
seemed  unequal  to  the  fight ;  for  now  they  appeared  to 
increase,  and  were  formidable  in  number,  as  well  as 
louder,  on  nearer  approach.  Having  heard  that  wild 
beasts  were  intimidated  by  fire,  we  piled  on  more  wood, 
and  stood  cautiously  to  our  arms  —  guns  and  pistols. 

After  a  long  time  these  gutteral  sounds  began  to  de- 
crease, and  gradually  ceased.  We  again  laid  down  upon 
our  blankets,  and  began  to  enter  the  land  of  dreams, 
when  a  loud  cry  from  K.  brought  me  to  my  feet.  In 
this  dry  clime  of  vermin,  a  bug  had  entered  his  ear,  and 
was  testing  the  practicability  of  passing  its  sensitive  drum, 
when  the  excruciating  pain  caused  my  brave-hearted  com- 
panion to  cry  out  like  a  woman.  What  was  to  be  done? 
I  had  heard  that  oil  poured  into  the  ear  would  drive  out 
a  bug,  but  we  had  no  oil.  I  bethought  me  of  the  coffee- 
pot, which  stood  still  simmering  on  the  dying  embers ; 
and,  knowing  salt  to  be  very  offensive  to  insects,  I  placed 
K.  on  his  side,  still  bellowing  like  a  "bull  calf!"  I  put 
the  nozzle  to  his  ear,  and  deluged  it  and  his  face  and 
eyes  with  the  hot  salt-water.  The  bug  came  running 
out;  and  K.,  spurting  the  liquid  from  his  mouth  and  wip- 
ing his  closed  eyes,  and  seeing  my  suppressed  laughter, 
covered  me  with  alternate  curses  and  compliments.  He 
was  relieved;  and  ever  after  he  told  the  story  with  comic 
expressions  of  gratitude  and  humor. 

Without  further  incident,  we  rose  with  the  "  mighty 
king  of  day;"  and,  packing  our  mule,  after  a  hasty  break- 
fast, we'  entered  the  prairie   once   more,  turning  from  our 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  23 

course  a  little  to  examine  our  field  of  tiger  sounds.  We 
had  not  gone  far  before  we  saw  an  immense  herd  of  buf- 
faloes grazing  on  the  distant  prairie,  renewing  the  sounds 
of  the  night  before.  The  buffalo,  like  the  hog,  being  gre- 
garious, gives  a  similar  grunt  when  feeding,  with  his  head 
sunk  into  the  tall  grass,  by  which  the  herd  is  directed  and 
kept  together.  But  they  soon  saw  us,  long  before  within 
gunshot,  and  put  off  with  their  awkward  regular  gallop, 
and  were  soon  lost  in  the  distance.  Turning  again  north- 
west, we  met  with  no  incident  of  note  till  the  afternoon ; 
the  buffalo,  no  doubt,  having  come  a  long  way  to  drink  at 
the  water-hole. 

"Billy,"  the  mule,  was  never  satisfied  with  eating,  and 
had  to  be  driven  often  into  the  line  of  march.  So  K., 
cutting  a  long  whip-staff,  and  slinging  to  it  an  extra 
bridle  rein,  kept  him  between  us;  I  going  before,  the 
mule  next,  and  K.  bringing  up  the  rear.  Ascending  a 
slight  acclivity,  where  there  was  more  sand  than  grass, 
and  that  little  very  sparse  in  small  patches,  Billy  came  to 
a  sudden  halt,  with  ears  cast  forward,  fore  feet  set  apart, 
and  gave  a  loud  snort.  K.  cried  out:  "Indians,  Billy; 
Indians!"  But  Billy  stood  fixed  to  the  spot,  with  his 
eyes  staring,  and  inclined  toward  the  near  ground.  Look- 
ing down,  I  saw  a  very  novel  snake,  about  four  or  five 
feet  in  length,  of  rare  and  brilliant  colors,  and  shaped  like 
a  whip-thong.  It  lay  at  full  length,  at  near  right  angles 
to  our  line  of  march.  K.  soon  dismounted;  and,  club- 
bing his  long  whip-staff,  prepared  to  strike.  The  snake 
made  not  the  least  motion  at  his  approach,  not  even 
opening  its  mouth,  or  thrusting  out  its  tongue,  as  is 
usual  with  snakes.  K.  came  down  with  his  blow ;  my 
eyes  were  never  taken  off  the  snake.  But  the  snake  was 
not  killed,  but  gone!  Neither  of  us  saw  him  move,  and 
we  never  saw  him  more !  We  examined  for  rods  all 
around,  the  surface  being  nearly  all  pure  sand,  but  found 
no  hole,  and  saw  no  signs  of  the  snake.  K.  was  more 
surprised  than  myself;   and,  mounting  his   horse,  with  im- 


124  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

agination  stored  by  last  night's  adventure,  swore  it  was 
the  devil !  At  certain  speeds,  objects  make  no  impres- 
sion on  the  retina,  as  the  swiftly-turned  spokes  of  a  spin- 
ning-wheel. The  snake  was  no  doubt  of  the  constrictor 
class,  and  of  great  speed,  and  exerting  his  powers  escaped 
our  sight.  But  K.  would  never  admit  the  reasoning ;  and, 
for  long  years  afterward,  when  the  snake  story  was  named, 
would  look  serious,  shake  his  head,  and  say  nothing. 

Coming  at  length  to  a  ravine,  where  there  was  much 
sign  of  buffalo,  we  pitched  tent,  tethered  Billy,  and  decided 
after  midday  to  take  a  hunt.  Passing  over  a  slight  rise  of 
the  prairie,  I  saw  a  huge  buffalo  bull  grazing  alone  near  a 
jungle ;  and,  passing  below  till  I  reached  the  trees,  I  ad- 
vanced cautiously  till  I  got  near  him,  and  then  tied  my 
horse  and  approached  on  foot.  The  rifle  I  carried,  bor- 
rowed in  the  regiment,  the  largest  bore  I  could  get,  save 
the  carbines,  carried  about  thirty-two  balls  to  the  pound, 
when  an  ounce  ball  very  judiciously  used  was  needed  to 
kill  these  immense  animals.  But  I  had  a  brace  of  first- 
class  dueling-pistols  in  my  belt,  so  I  concluded  to  use 
them.  Having  heard  that  the  buffalo,  when  wounded, 
would  turn  upon  his  enemy,  I  took  all  precautions  for 
safety.  I  set  my  rifle  by  a  tree,  and  observed  one  with 
suitable  limbs  for  ascent ;  and  then,  taking  my  pistol  in 
hand,  I  sought  the  bull,  which  was  behind  a  small  patch 
of  sumac  bushes,  and  I  could  plainly  hear  him  stripping 
the  tender  grass  in  grazing.  Creeping  through  the  bushes, 
within  ten  feet  of  him,  I  fired  at  him  behind  the  shoulder ; 
and  running  at  once  to  my  tree,  about  twenty  paces  off, 
climbed  it. 

He  had  evidently  been  hit  severely,  but  I  saw  him  gal- 
loping off  over  the  prairie.  I  went  to  the  bushes,  and  saw 
where  he  had  plunged  into  the  smoke  of  my  pistol,  tear- 
ing up  the  ground  for  many  yards  with  his  sliding  hoofs. 
So,  if  I  did  not  escape  being  laughed  at,  I  avoided  being 
killed !  Mounting  my  horse,  I  at  once  went  in  pursuit, 
but  saw  him  no  more.     I  had  not  gone  far,  however,  before 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  I  25 

I  saw  a  fine  buffalo  calf,  strayed  off  from  the  herd,  and 
soon  put  a  ball  through  him,  behind  the  shoulder,  with  my 
rifle.  I  then  struck  for  camp,  where  K.  had  already  re- 
turned with  a  larger  calf  than  my  own,  in  the  killing  and 
capturing  of  which  he  had  a  wonderful  tale  to  tell.  As 
we  had  now  meat  enough,  I  did  not  return  to  my  calf, 
having  brought  in  the  tuft  of  his  tail  in  proof  of  my 
prowess. 

We  now  set  about  butchering,  cutting  up  the  better 
pieces  of  the  calf,  and  roasting  them  on  spits  set  in  the 
ground.  I  much  enjoyed  our  fare,  the  while  drawing  out 
K.  about  his  fight  with  the  calf — how  he  shot  him  and 
caught  him,  and  how  the  calf  rose  and  horned  him,  and 
all  that ;  until,  seeing  I  was  using  mock  wonder,  he  drop- 
ped the  story.  . 

Having  no  time  to  cure  the  buffalo-meat  in  the  regular 
way,  we  roasted  the  best  parts  on  spits,  and  packed  them 
in  our  stores.  Along  the  ravine  we  saw  plenty  of  wild 
turkeys  (but  no  smaller  game),  feeding  upon  the  wild 
grasses,  which  are  quite  eatable ;  and  we  occasionally 
killed  one,  and,  putting  strips  of  salt  pork,  pinned  on  with 
splinters,  and  turning  him  on  a  spit  with  one  end  stuck 
in  the  ground,  we  had  a  delicious  roast  —  never  so  good 
elsewhere,  because  this  is  the  best  method  of  cooking  it, 
and  the  appetite  is  the  best  sauce. 

Continuing  our  hunt  successfully,  we  still  bore  north 
by  west,  the  timbered  ravines  increasing,  so  that  we  knew 
we  were  passing  one  of  the  great  rivers  of  Texas  —  a 
State  larger  than  France.  Indian  signs  increased,  and  the 
camps  were  fresher.  One  day  we  passed  an  Indian  in 
the  open  prairie,  on  horseback,  coming  exactly  toward  us. 
As  we  knew  the  Comanches  were  ever  hostile,  and  never 
to  be  trusted,  we  took  rifles  in  hand,  and  watchfully  passed 
him ;  he,  also,  with  rifle  in  hand,  passed  us,  and  neither 
spoke.  Of  course,  a  single  hunter  would  rarely  be  found, 
and  we  regarded  him  as  a  spy.  We,  therefore,  pushed  on 
that    day ;    and,    having    watered    our    horses    on    the    way, 


126  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

traveled  till  near  dark,  when  we  lay  down  upon  the  dry 
prairie   without   tent,    eating   our  dried    cooked    meat  only. 

Now,  ever  since  Billy  had  been  frightened  with  the 
snake  —  when  K.  cried  out  lustily,  "Indians,  Billy!"  —  he 
had  used  that  word  to  bring  the  mule  from  his  grazing 
diversions  into  line.  For,  as  soon  as  he  would  cry  out 
"Indians,"  and  affect  to  run  and  be  scared,  Billy  would 
take  up  a  trot,  and  come  into  line  behind  me.  We  had 
scarcely  adjusted  ourselves  to  sleep,  when  the  mule  brought 
us  up  with  tremendous  snorts,  kept  up  without  ceasing. 
So  we  concluded  that  the  Indians  had  been  watching  us 
during  the  day,  and  were  now  trailing  us  through  the  tall 
grass  by  starlight,  to  steal  our  horses,  take  our  guns,  and 
perhaps  kill  us.  We  at  once  packed  up,  changed  some- 
what our  course ;  and,  after  a  few  miles,  slept  upon  the 
prairie.  Now,  whether  it  was  Indians,  or  bears,  or  wolves, 
the  horses  took  no  notice  of  them,  but  the  mule  sounded 
the  alarm. 

Our  provisions  being  now  nearly  expended,  except  the 
buffalo-meat,  and  the  savages  being  near  us,  we  resolved 
to  set  out  for  Lavaca,  on  the  Gulf.  I  set  my  face  by 
compass,  and  kept  a  right  line  as  well  as  I  could.  The 
farther  west  we  went,  the  more  the  timber  and  jungle  in- 
creased. The  cactus  began  to  appear  in  places,  mingled 
with  thorns,  brush-wood,  and  grapevines ;  and,  what  was 
worse,  quicksands  began  to  obstruct  the  crossings  of  the 
rivulets,  or  rather  the  beds  of  the  same,  which  were  now 
nearly  all  dry.  The  buffaloes  cross  these  streams  and 
pick  the  secure  places,  and  make  very  marked  paths.  We 
had  to  follow  those  paths  for  long  distances,  without  re- 
gard to  course,  winding  about  over  small  prairies,  between 
the  rivulets  and  creeks,  which  more  and  more  presented 
obstructions.  For  days  and  nights  we  worried  through 
these  wastes,  without  seeing  a  living  thing  but  slimy 
snakes  sliding  through  the  jungles.  We  camped  wher- 
ever we  happened  to  find  water ;  and  ate  about  the  last 
of  our  stores,  except  the  buffalo-meat,  being  without  salt 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  127 

or  bread.  In  the  meantime,  K.  had  become  demoralized 
and  despondent,  saying  we  might  as  well  give  up,  and  lie 
down  on  the  grass  and  die !  We  here  have  a  sample  of 
fortitude  as  distinct  from  courage.  K.  would  have  met  a 
host  of  men  in  arms,  but  yielded  to  unforeseen  disaster 
as  a  child. 

I  had  now  been  using  the  tomahawk  and  Bowie-knife 
in  clearing  away  the  jungle,  in  all  of  which  K.  was  un- 
able or  unwilling  to  assist.  In  the  meantime,  the  differ- 
ence in  the  instincts  or  intelligence  of  the  horse  and  mule 
was  apparent.  The  horses  were  comparatively  indifferent 
to  the  snakes  and  the  quicksands,  while  Billy  was  ever 
watchful  and  cautious  of  both. 

On  the  third  day,  about  two  o'clock,  we  came  upon  a 
waste  of  jungle  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach ;  and,  as  K. 
refused  to  go  farther,  and  insisted  on  returning  on  our 
tracks,  I  set  my  compass  south  by  east,  and  attempted  to 
return.  In  the  meantime,  the  buffalo  traces  had  been  lost, 
and  I  ran  by  the  compass,  laboring  hard  with  the  axe  and 
knife.  Fortunately,  we  met  no  quicksands ;  and,  about 
sunset,  having  traveled  many  hours  and  many  miles  in  a 
straight  line,  amidst  ever-recurring  patches  of  prairie  and 
jungle,  we  debouched  into  a  wider  and  higher  prairie,  with 
a  new  woods  about  a  mile  off,  to  which  I  directed  myself, 
to  camp  on  the  streamlet's  banks. 

I  now  saw  a  black  bear  about  one  hundred  yards  off. 
He  stood  with  his  side  toward  me,  gently  turning  his  head 
toward  me.  I  shot,  and  he  scampered  off  into  the  jungle 
we  had  just  left.  The  wolves  now  set  up  their  infernal 
howl,  which  seemed  to  be  a  few  hundred  yards  from  us, 
in  a  small  jungle  on  our  left.  K.  mistook  them  for  a  set- 
tler's dogs,  and  insisted  upon  turning  to  the  left.  I  knew 
very  well  that  they  were  only  wolves ;  and,  to  humor  my 
companion,  we  rode  up  to  where  the  notes  were  heard, 
when  they  grew  fainter  in  the  distance,  whereupon  K.  re- 
lapsed into  his  usual  despondency.  I  had  not  gone  far, 
when    a    reddish-gray  fox    stood    near    me    on    the    prairie, 


128  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

looking,  no  doubt,  for  the  first  time  upon  man.  I  shot 
him  for  variety  of  fare,  and  took  him  to  the  jungle,  where 
we  pitched  our  camp. 

Gathering  our  animals,  I  left  K.  to  pitch  our  tent  and 
make  a  fire,  and  skin  the  fox,  whilst  I  hunted  for  water. 
I  was  not  gone  long  before  I  found  water;  and,  returning, 
found  K.  with  the  tent  up,  but  lying  down,  with  no  fire, 
and  the  fox  untouched.  Getting  our  canteens  full  of 
water,  and  warming  up  the  buffalo-meat,  I  invited  K.  to 
supper;  but  he  declined  to  eat,  not  having  tasted  any- 
thing but  dry  meat  early  that  morning.  Whilst  I  was 
nibbling  the  last  of  the  meat,  and  attempting  to  show  K. 
that  there  was  no  danger  of  starvation,  as  we  had  plenty 
of  ammunition,  and  the  game  began  now  to  be  more  plen- 
tiful, I  heard  a  sound  which  first  revealed  to  me  how 
much  my  own  spirits  had  been  depressed  —  for  I  did  not 
know  what  jungles,  quicksands,  and  other  difficulties  were 
before  —  I  heard  the  bark  of  a  real  dog.  I  was  sitting 
by  the  fire,  at  the  mouth  of  the  tent,  eating  and  reflect- 
ing upon  the  dangers  of  the  situation.  The  moon  shone 
brightly,  and  but  a  breath  of  wind  blew  steadily  from  the 
south-east.  On  water  and  the  prairies  sounds  are  wafted 
incredible   distances   with   the   wind.      In   certain   stages   of 

o 

the  atmosphere,  I  often  hear  the  cars  passing  from  Lex- 
ington to  Winchester,  more  than  twenty  miles  away ;  and 
now  I  heard  the  bay  of  the  dog  in  the  far  distance,  but  I 
heard  it  unmistakably.     I  called  to  K.,  who  was  lying  down: 

"  I  hear  a  dog." 

"No,"  said  he,   "it  is  the  wolves  again." 

"  K.,  you  are  a  fool,"  said  I;  "don't  I  know  a  dog 
from  a  wolf?  Come,"  said  I,  "come  and  listen  for  your- 
self." 

At  length  he  was  persuaded  to  move ;  and,  crawling 
upon  his  hands  and  knees,  he  dragged  himself  to  the 
tent's  mouth.  The  moon  shone  brightly  upon  his  care- 
worn and  relaxed  features.  A  month's  sickness  could  not 
have    done    the   work   of  a    few    days   of  lost   hope !      He 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  20, 

heard  the  far-distant,  faint  notes  of  the  baying  dog.  Hope 
returned  like  a  flash  of  lightning  to  his  features.  He 
sprang  up  like  a  tiger ;  and,  throwing  his  arms  around  my 
neck,  cried : 

"Are  n't  those  the  sweetest  sounds  that  ever  fell  upon 
mortal  ears?" 

His  appetite  returned,  and  he  helped  me  to  finish  our 
last  piece  of  food.  We  slept  well,  and  by  light  were  off 
once  more.  Luckily,  we  came  upon  solid  ground,  the  jun- 
gles grew  less  and  far  between ;  and,  toward  midday,  we 
debouched  into  a  high  rolling  prairie,  where  some  herds- 
men had  burned  the  early  grass,  and  where  we  first  saw 
the  mesquite  trees  and  grass  of  the  same  name.  The 
looks  of  these  patches  of  growth  are  so  like  an  old 
peach-orchard  in  shape  and  interval,  that  for  more  than 
once  we  were  sure  we  had  entered  the  "settlements," 
and  were  near  some  farm-house.  We  had  again  almost 
doubted  the  veritable  dog,  when,  mounting  the  top  of  a 
rolling  prairie,  we  saw  afar  off  horses,  under  a  few  shade- 
trees,  switching  away  the  flies.  By  four  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon  we  came  to  a  newly-made  log  cottage  and 
farm-yard,  where  we  were  hospitably  entertained,  getting 
plenty  of  well-cooked  game,  eggs,  and  milk  from  a  cool 
spring.  Never  did  weary  travelers  more  enjoy  a  meal 
and  a  bed. 

We  must  have  traveled  thirty  or  forty  miles  that  day ; 
and  the  dog  we  heard  was  that  of  some  herdsman  or 
hunter  nearer  our  late  camp.  The  man  was  illiterate,  and 
knew  no  more  where  he  was  in  Texas  than  we  did,  save 
that  he  was  on  the  very  verge  of  civilization.  So,  renew- 
ing our  stores,  and  cordially  thanking  and  taking  leave  of 
our  host  and  his  family,  our  horses  having  had  a  good 
feed  of  Indian-corn  and  oats,  we  set  out  once  more,  go- 
inor  rather  west  than  south-west,  to  cross  all  interven- 
ing  streams  at  nearer  right  angles;  when,  striking  the 
Ozark  Mountains,  we  would  go  directly  south  on  higher 
ground. 

Vol.  I.— 9 


I3O  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

We  met  no  very  great  obstacles  in  our  route,  not  car- 
ing to  shoot  any  game ;  and,  the  streams  becoming  less 
frequent,  we  began  to  set  our  course  almost  due  south. 
At  length,  one  evening,  while  the  sun  was  yet  above  the 
horizon,  we  saw  the  indications  of  a  stream  flowing  from 
west  to  east,  and  at  right  angles  to  our  course ;  and  still 
nearer  we  found  a  ranch,  with  houses  and  yards  and 
stables  well  fenced  in.  Rejoicing  once  more  to  enter 
civilized  lands,  we  came  up  to  the  fence ;  and,  throwing 
our  reins  over  the  fence-posts,  for  there  was  a  post-and- 
railing  fence  around  the  buildings,  we  got  down  without 
ceremony,  when,  entering  a  small  gate,  a  man  quickly 
advanced  from  his  companions,  about  a  half  dozen  men 
lying  listlessly  on  the  grass,  and  met  me  half  way,  having 
on  a  belt  in  which  two  pistols  were  stuck. 

But  here  I  must  go  back  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  cen- 
tury in  time,  long  before  Texas  was  independent,  and 
while  New  Mexico  was  a  Spanish  possession,  under  the 
king  of  Spain  and  his  viceroys.  At  that  time,  there  was 
a  considerable  trade  carried  on  between  New  Mexico  and 
the  city  of  St.  Louis  and  Missouri.  The  merchants  were 
all  Spaniards ;  and,  bringing  gold  and  silver,  and  some 
few  other  articles,  carried  back  hats,  cloths,  etc.,  to  sell 
at  home.  As  there  were  no  means  of  exchange  then  but 
metals,  these  were   brought  under  guard  the  whole  route. 

As  now,  the  most  desperate  and  daring  of  our  people 
being  driven  to  the  frontier,  a  project  was  conceived  of 
murdering  these  carriers,  and  appropriating  the  gold. 
Among  these  were  persons  from  Kentucky  and  other 
States  ;  and  the  most  daring  spirit  among  them  was  said 
to  be  a  man  whom  I  knew  well,  as  I  had  known  him  at 
school,  and  until  we  were  both  men. 

Mr.  left  Kentucky  early  in  life,  but  not  before  his 

daring  spirit  was  well  known  by  his  associates.  He  was 
under  six  feet,  rather  spare,  but  wiry  and  muscular.  Few 
could  beat  him  in  the  school-boy  plays,  in  jumping  and 
wrestling,   and  all   that.       He   was   of  rather  swarthy  com- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


131 


plexion,  dark  and  flowing  hair,  large  and  flashing  black 
eyes,  and  a  highly  nervous  temperament,  with  a  glance 
quick  and  penetrating  as  a  hawk's.  A  merchant  by  the 
name  of  Travis,  with  his  followers,  were  the  first  victims ; 
they  waylaid  him  on  the  confines  of  Missouri,  then  un- 
settled, and  killing  him  and  some  of  his  employes,  and 
putting  all  to  flight,  they  took  and  divided  his  gold. 
Some  of  them  were  at  last  taken  and  hanged,  but  the 
most  escaped ;  and  the  leader,  as  rumor  goes,  my  old 
school-mate,  was  one  of  them.  I  had  not  seen  him  for 
nearly  twenty  years ;  and  now  he  stood  before  me  in  this 
far-distant  wild,  with  features  as  familiar  as  if  we  had 
never  parted. 

I  recognized  him  at  once,  as  he  did  me ;  and,  calling 
each  other  by  name,  we  shook  hands  most  cordially. 
Passing  by  his  comrades  on  the  grass,  who  never  spoke 
or  moved,  he  took  me  and  K.  into  the  house,  and  made 
rapid  inquiry  about  our  destination.  I  told  him  we  were 
on  our  way  to  Mexico,  and  had  been  diverted  from  our 
regiment  to  indulge  in  a  buffalo  hunt,  and  were  then 
headed  for  Lavaca,  where  we  would  join  the  regiment. 
He  showed  K.  the  crib,  well  filled  with  corn,  and  the 
stable,  and  told  him  to  put  our  horses  and  mule  up  and 
feed  them,  bringing  first  our  luggage  into  the  two-roomed 
cabin,  which  was  flanked  by  a  small  kitchen  of  hewn  logs, 
of  which  the  dwelling-house  was  also  made.  One  or  two 
more  small  but  tidy  buildings,  which  might  have  been  a 
smoke-house  or  store-rooms,  were  all  the  houses  in  view. 
He  never  left  me  a  moment,  but  to  return  at  once  after 
giving  orders  to  his  comrades  and  the  old  negro  woman, 
who  was  cook,  and  the  only  other  member  of  the  family. 
He  seemed  to  know  nothing  or  care  nothing  about  the 
Mexican  War,  and  never  mentioned  it.  Neither  I  nor  he 
made  much  allusion  to  our  early  life ;  and  no  questions 
were  asked  by  either  party.  His  companions  never  moved 
or  spoke,  whilst  we  had  yet  time  to  see  them  before  dusk 
set    in.      The  horses    were    fed,    our    supper    ordered    and 


132  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

eaten  by  us  three  only,  and  after  dark  I  saw  them  no  more. 
Whilst  I  saw  them,  however,  I  closely  scrutinized  their 
features ;  they  seemed  generally  to  be  other  than  Amer- 
icans, stout,  beastly-looking  men  as  ever  "scuttled  ship, 
or  cut  a  throat."  And,  above  all,  I  could  see  that  they 
did  not  at  all  relish  our  arrival  or  company.  And,  whilst 
their  Captain  had,  no  doubt,  in  a  word  or  two,  posted 
them  as  to  who  we  were,  and  what  our  mission  was,  they 
seemed  to  have  only  a  sullen  scowl  for  us.  I  saw  no  do- 
mestic stock,  nor  wagons;  the  corn,  if  raised  by  the  ban- 
ditti, being  brought  on  horseback,  no  doubt,  or  taken 
from  the  far  settlements. 

As  I  said,  the  buildings  and  one  post-and-rail  fence, 
nearly  square,  rested  upon  the  jungle,  and  the  jungle 
was  water  and  quicksand ;  from  the  south  to  the  very 
north  there  were  none  but  Indians  ;  west  was  the  inter- 
minable waste  to  the  Rocky  Mountains  ;  east  hundreds  of 
miles  must  be  passed  before  reaching  civilization  ;  and 
south  an  inpenetrable  jungle,  a  mile  wide,  full  of  quick- 
sands, cut  them  off  from  the  nearer  settlements  on  that 
side.  Against  Indians  and  police  attacks  they  seemed 
secure.  It  could  not  be  supposed  that  these  rough  men, 
steeped  in  habitual  crime,  could  appreciate  the  sentimental 
reasons  which  secured  me  in  the  good  offices  of  their 
leader.  Supper  over,  we  saw  no  more  of  the  other  men. 
There  were  no  beds;  and,  K.  being  put  upon  a  blanket 
in  one  room,  the  Captain  and  I  lay  down  together,  in  the 
other,  on  the  same  buffalo  skin.  I  observed  that  he  bar- 
red the  doors,  and  laid  his  pistols  within  reach  !  Nothing 
was  said,  but  I  saw  at  a  glance  the  situation  —  he  was 
standing  in  my  defense  against  his  band !  There  was  not 
a  man  in  his  following  who  was  not  his  superior  in 
strength,  but  not  one  seemed  his  rival  in  quickness  of 
movement  and  intellect.  They  may  have  had  equal  cour- 
age, but  quickness  —  other  things  being  equal  —  is  the 
superior  force  always,  when  arms  are  used.  So  I  rested 
well  that   night.     The  next  morning  early,  having  fed  our 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


*33 


horses   and  breakfasted,  by  the   assistance   of  our  host  we 
saddled  up  and  started  south. 

The  creek  and  wide  jungle  ran  due  east,  and  we  were 
instructed  to  follow  the  banks  nearly  a  mile,  when  a  dim 
path  would  show  us  the  crossing,  which,  following  a  slightly 
blazed  trace  on  the  trees,  led  us  in  a  very  tortuous  way 
across  the  wide  flat  of  trees,  quicksands,  and  jungle.  Not 
trusting  to  K's  discretion,  I  had  not  told  him  of  the  history 
nor  the  name  of  our  host,  and  he  was  much  surprised  at 
the  narration.  The  men  had  left  the  ranch,  and  now  the 
pathway  led  far  up  toward  the  starting  point.  Might  not 
these  outlaws  conclude  to  kill  us  at  last,  with  or  without 
the  consent  of  their  leader?  And  where  and  to  what  am- 
buscades did  our  way  lead  us?  Perhaps  where  we  might 
be  picked  off  without  the  dangers  of  a  death-struggle.  I 
told  him  to  have  his  arms  and  eyes  in  readiness ;  I  be- 
ing before,  Billy  in  the  middle,  and  K.  following  up  in  the 
rear.  If  I  saw  danger,  I  was  to  jump  off  and  he  was  to 
follow,  and  each  to  make  a  determined  defense.  K.,  who 
had  shown  so  little  fortitude  under  unusual  surroundings, 
was  perfectly  cool  and  courageous  where  men  were  to  be 
met.  So  he  readily  accepted  the  situation.  We  had  more 
than  half  passed  the  jungle,  and  turned  our  faces  more 
directly  toward  the  south,  when,  being  relieved  of  the  lit- 
tle apprehension  of  danger  which  I  had  felt,  I  thought  of 
going  into  the  other  extreme  —  from  tragedy  to  comedy. 
Such  is  human  nature.  Looking  back,  and  seeing  K.  with 
compressed  lips  and  quick  eye  scanning  every  bush,  and 
passing  near  a  tree  of  some  size,  I  jumped  off,  and  stood 
with  rifle  in  hand.  He,  as  by  agreement,  also  jumped  off, 
and  brought  his  rifle  in  position.  I  squatted  down  so  that 
I  could  see  him  under  Billy's  belly ;  and,  watching  his  in- 
tent expression,  could  not  refrain  from  hardly  suppressed 
laughter.  K.,  not  seeing  anything,  after  some  delay,  turned 
toward  me,  saw  my  face,  and  comprehended  at  once  the 
situation.  He  was  very  angry;  and,  moving  up  to  me 
very  rapidly,  threatened  to  use  extreme  violence. 


134  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

I  said:  "K.,  you  are  a  fool!  Remember  the  lost  days; 
if  you  were  to  kill  me,  you  would  never  find  the  way  out 
of  the  jungle!  " 

Seeing  that  I  was  calm,  but  in  good  humor,  he  broke 
into  a  laugh,  and  admitted  that  I  was  right.  After  a  long 
travel,  we  reached  the  settlements,  and  at  length  arrived 
at  Lavaca,  where  the  regiment  had  not  yet  got  ready  to 
move  west,  after  less  than  a  month's  absence,  fully  satis- 
fied with  buffalo-hunting. 

In  every  man  there  remains  something  of  the  Divine 
nature,  however  fallen ;  and  the  secret  of  my  late  defender's 
banishment  remained  with  me.  Long  since,  no  doubt,  the 
parties,  as  well  as  K.,  are  dead;  and  the  name  shall  die 
with  them. 


CHAPTER   VIII 


General  Wool  invites  me  to  join  his  command. — Wild  Horse  and  Turkey- 
hunting.— John  U.  Waring.— Thomas  F.  Marshall.— James  S.  Jackson.— 
The  march  to  Monterey,  1845.— Gen.  z-  Taylor.— Gen.  W.  O.  Butler.— 
Gallagher's  experience. — The  Mexican  hacienda. — Dr.  Solon  Borland. — 
Surrounded  by  3,000  Mexican  Cavalry,  our  force  of  75  surrenders. — 
Mier. — Salao. — Escape  of  Henry. — Threatened  with  murder. — I  protest, 
and  the  Mexican  commander  relents. — Recognized  by  an  Englishman, 
when  nearly  starved,  and  we  are  fed. — Mobbed  at  Queratero,  we  escape 
into  a  church. 


I  WAS  invited  by  General.  Wool  to  join  his  corps  d' 
armee,  going  north  of  General  Taylor  to  Chihuahua, 
but  which  the  sickness  of  some  of  my  men  prevented.  At 
Camargo,  General  Patterson  offered  to  take  my  company 
to  Tampico,  which  I  declined.  At  length,  ordered  by  the 
War  Department,  we  threw  away  most  of  our  camp- 
equipage,  to  make  room  for  water-barrels,  which  were  to 
carry  us  over  the  desert,  from  the  Nueces  to  the  Rio 
Grande. 

In  crossing  the  Nueces  River,  a  narrow,  deep,  swift 
stream,  we  had  but  a  shaky  flat-boat.  I  was  officer  of 
the  day,  and  directing  the  march.  The  wagons  were 
put  in  without  the  horses ;  and  pushed  up  the  opposite 
steep  bank  by  the  men.  As  many  of  the  rank  and  file 
were  educated  men,  used  to  slaves  and  unused  to  labor, 
we  ever  had  much  trouble  to  get  them  to  perform  the 
duties  of  cleaning  the  camp,  and  like  seemingly  menial 
duties.  The  wheels  stuck  in  the  mud,  and  the  captains 
were  unable  to  get  the  men  to  push  the  wheels.  So  I 
went  over;  and,  pulling  off  my  boots,  and  rolling  up  my 
pantaloons,  went  to  the  water's  edge,  and,  putting  my 
shoulder  to  the  wheel,  I  said:  "Soldiers,  I  command  you 
to    move    up  this  wagon."      All    laughed,   and    the   wagon 

135 


I36  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

went  up  like  a  top.  I  never  afterward  had  any  trouble 
about  the  work. 

Once,  when  I  was  officer  of  the  day,  a  soldier  fired 
off  his  gun  in  camp,  contrary  to  orders.  I  rode  up  to 
the  company,  and  inquired  for  the  delinquent.  The  smoke 
was  still  rolling  up  in  a  small  cloud  in  the  midst  of  the 
company,  so  every  one  knew  who  had  fired  the  gun,  but 
all  professed  ignorance.  So  I  called  the  officer  of  the 
guard,  and  ordered  the  whole  command  to  be  put  in  the 
guard-tent  for  the  night.  They  at  once  gave  up  the  of- 
fender. 

In  the  government  of  children,  soldiers,  and  other  sub- 
ordinates, many  small  offences  must  be  allowed  to  pass 
unnoticed ;  but,  when  there  is  a  conflict  of  authority,  the 
supremacy  must  be  maintained  at  all  hazards.  One  of 
the  colored  servants,  having  several  carbines  slung  on  his 
shoulder,  was,  by  the  dipping  of  the  boat,  thrown  over- 
board. The  guns  sent  him  to  the  bottom.  I  saw  at 
once  that,  unless  he  was  aided,  he  would  be  lost ;  so  I 
threw  off  my  clothes,  being  already  half  undressed,  and 
plunged  in  and  dived,  and  tried  to  find  the  poor  fellow. 
Not  a  man  moved  to  assist  me.  He  never  was  seen 
again. 

Between  the  Nueces  and  the  Rio  Grande  there  were 
great  droves  of  wild  horses.  The  numbers  would  be  con- 
sidered incredible ;  but  those  who  have  seen  the  migra- 
tions of  wild  pigeons,  reaching  from  one  extreme  of  the 
horizon  to  the  other,  and  darkening  the  very  heavens,  can 
form  some  idea  of  their  numbers.  I  amused  myself  by 
pursuing  them,  screaming  at  the  top  of  my  voice,  and  en- 
joying the  common  excitement.  They  would  run  over 
bushes  and  the  nopal  (Indian  fig,)  which  here  began  to 
appear ;  and  the  noise  was  like  the  roar  of  a  tornado. 
As  a  strange  object  appears,  the  leading  males  advance 
to  the  front,  and  the  wings  of  the  line,  inclined  backwards, 
includes  the  females  and  the  younger  horses.  When  the 
leaders  give   the   sign   of  retreat    by  loud    snorts,    they  all 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY  1 37 

take  to  their  heels.  Here,  as  in  all  animal  nature,  the 
leadership  is  on  the  part  of  the  males.  Let  the  Women's 
Rights  people  take  note.  These  horses  are  generally 
bays,  but  some  are  blacks  and  grays.  With  their  long 
and  flowing  mains  and  tails,  they  form  a  picturesque  and 
grand  appearance.  The  Comanches  use  them  for  saddle 
and  draught  of  their  tents;  and  are  very  fond  of  them 
for  food. 

Knowing  that  wild  turkeys  frequented  all  the  water 
courses,  one  afternoon,  taking  my  rifle,  I  diverged  from 
the  march  of  the  regiment  along  a  jungle,  and  soon  found 
a  flock.  I  tied  my  horse  to  the  shrubbery ;  and,  entering 
the  dry  channel  of  the  ravine,  whose  abrupt  banks  came 
to  my  shoulders,  I  adjusted  my  gun,  and  began,  with  my 
wing-bone  of  the  turkey  before  killed  on  my  buffalo-hunt, 
to  call.  Soon  I  was  responded  to  from  several  directions ; 
but  one  turkey  especially  seemed  to  answer  my  call,  and 
approach  me  steadily.  When  it  seemed  sufficiently  near 
for  a  shot,  I  heard  the  click  of  a  trigger.  There  is  no 
other  possible  sound  like  it  in  the  forest ;  so  I  at  once 
lowered  my  head  below  the  banks,  and  ran  for  my  horse. 
On  mounting,  I  saw  coming  out  of  the  jungle,  about  three 
hundred  yards  below,  a  number  of  savages  on  horseback 
in  Indian  file.  The  regiment  had  crossed  above,  and  were 
now  west  of  the  jungle ;  and  these  Indians  were,  no  doubt, 
moving  further  east,  to  make  more  distance  between  the 
forces.  They  had  observed  the  approach  of  the  regiment, 
of  course,  and  seen  me  also ;  and,  when  I  began  to  call, 
they  returned  the  well-imitated  cheeps  of  the  turkey,  and 
I  was  in  the  very  nick  of  being  shot.  When  I  was  seated, 
I  gave  a  defiant  yell  to  my  savage  foes,  and  rode  off  at 
full  gallop  to  follow  the  regiment,  having  some  fear  that 
I  might  be  headed  off;  but  I  escaped. 

After  the  mob  of  the  18th  of  August,  1845,  an^  whilst 
I  was  still  editing  the  True  American,  then  printed  at 
Cincinnati,  one  day,  sitting  in  the  office  of  my  brother-in- 
law,  Madison  C.  Johnson,  John  U.  Waring  entered.     This 


6 


8  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 


man,  a  lawyer  of  Versailles,  Woodford  County,  Kentucky, 
was  one  of  the  greatest  desperadoes  in  the  State.  He 
had  killed  several  men ;  and  was  the  terror  of  every  one. 
I  had  often  heard  of  him,  but  had  never  seen  him  before. 
When  he  was  introduced  to  me,  he  said:  "This  is  Cash 
Clay,  I  suppose?"  I  said:  "Yes."  "Years  ago,"  said 
he,  "Dr.  L.  Marshall,  Thomas  F.  Marshall's  father,  began 
playing  the  same  role  on  the  slavery  question  as  you  are 
now  doing.  I  took  a  halter  and  showed  him  a  limb  of  a 
tree ;  and  told  him,  if  he  did  not  give  it  up,  we  would 
hang  him  to  it,  and  he  gave  it  up.  Now  you  will  meet 
with  the  same  fate." 

This  man.  who  went  always  armed,  with  pistols  and 
knives  in  boots,  pockets,  and  elsewhere,  was  of  a  small 
but  wiry  frame,  with  dark  hair  and  skin,  and  eyes  also 
black,  fiery,  and  furtive.  1,  too,  was  well  armed,  and 
greatly  his  superior  in  personal  strength.  So,  though  I 
felt  very  much  excited,  I  kept  a  cool  nerve,  and,  advanc- 
ing on  him  till  I  could  reach  him  with  my  knife,  if  need 
be,  I  said:  "Mr.  Waring,  I  exercise  a  constitutional  right. 
I  shall  not  follow  Marshall's  example ;  and,  whenever  you, 
or  your  friends,  attempt  to  use  force,  you  will  find  me 
ready  to  defend  myself." 

Finding  that  I  was  not  to  be  intimidated,  he  asked 
some  questions  of  Johnson,  and  left  the  office.  I  never 
saw  him  again. 

Soon  after,  at  Versailles,  as  he  approached  the  hotel, 
some  unknown  person  —  the  son,  it  is  said,  of  the 
keeper  —  from  the  upper  story,  shot  him  with  a  heavy 
rifle-ball ;  which,  striking  him  in  the  mouth,  and  ranging 
downward,  produced  a  fatal  wound.  Seeing  it  was  all 
over  with  him,  he  called  for  pen,  ink,  and  paper;  and, 
sitting  up  on  the  pavement,  half  strangled  with  the  blood 
which  surged  from  his  wounded  lungs,  he  made  his  will 
and  died. 

When  it  was  proposed  to  repeal  the  law  of  1833,  pro- 
hibiting the  home  slave  trade,  Thomas  F.   Marshall  wrote 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  1 39 

some  of  the  ablest  papers  of  his  life  against  slavery, 
which  were  published  in  pamphlet  form,  and  widely  circu- 
lated ;  but,  when  the  question  grew  serious,  he  proved  a 
renegade,  and  turned,  with  the  usual  violence  of  such 
persons,  upon  his  former  allies.  When  a  member  of  Con- 
gress from  the  Louisville  district,  about  1842,  he  led  the 
assault  upon  John  Quincy  Adams,  the  champion  of  the 
Right  of  Petition.  The  gallant  old  Puritan  defeated  the 
conspirators  against  American  liberty,  and  signally  chas- 
tised Marshall.  Whilst  the  resolution  for  Adams's  expul- 
sion was  pending,  he  was  furnished  with  Marshall's  pam- 
phlet, and  read  extracts  from  it  without  giving  the  name ; 
and,  when  he  quoted  the  famous  conclusion  of  Marshall's 
parallel  between  free  Ohio  and  slave  Virginia — "Curse 
on  the  tyrant  hand  which  planted  this  dark  plague-spot 
upon  her  virgin  bosom!"  —  Marshall's  name,  to  the  host 
of  Southerners  demanding  the  author,  was  given.  That 
was  the  last  of  Marshall  in  the  impeachment  case! 

In  the  meantime,  having  returned  to  his  native  county, 
Woodford,  in  the  Fayette  or  Clay  district,  he  led  the  mob 
forces  against  me,  was  equally  violent,  untruthful,  and  un- 
scrupulous, and  ultimately  met  the  same  fate  as  he  did  in 
Congress. 

T.  F.  Marshall's  hereditary  hatred  of  the  Clays,  and 
the  terror  of  John  U.  Waring's  halter,  were  some  excuse 
for  his  assaults  upon  me.  But  his  cowardice,  and  selfish 
purposes  of  riding  upon  the  storm  which  he  created,  took 
away  my  usual  magnanimity  toward  my  political  enemies, 
and  filled  me  with  sentiments  of  implacable  resentment. 
So,  when  I  found  myself  a  Captain  of  a  company  in  the 
same  regiment  with  him,  I  knew  that  his  insolent  bear- 
ing would  soon  give  me  an  opportunity  for  vengeance. 
Col.  Humphrey  Marshall  was  an  amiable  gentleman,  and 
allowed  the  soldiers  to  change  their  captains.  Under 
this  arrangement,  several  of  T.  F.  Marshall's  men  joined 
my  company ;  and  the  permission  was  withdrawn,  as  it 
was  likely  to  deplete  the  ranks  of  his  cousin.     This  occur- 


140  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

rence  but  aggravated  the  feud  between  us.  One  evening, 
when  I  was  officer  of  the  day,  and  the  guard-tent  was  full 
of  soldiers  for  several  offenses,  especially  drunkenness,  Tom 
came  in  also  drunk.  I  immediately  reported  him  to  the 
Colonel,  who  took  no  notice  of  it.  So,  returning  to  the 
guard  on  horseback,  I  said,  in  a  loud  tone,  so  that  all  the 
regiment  could  hear  it:  "Officer  of  the  guard,  Captain 
Marshall  has  entered  the  camp  drunk,  contrary  to  orders. 
As  he  is  allowed  to  go  unpunished  to  his  tent,  I  order 
you  to  discharge  all  the  prisoners ;  as  I  intend  to  en- 
force, so  far  as  I  have  the  power,  equal  justice  in  this 
camp."  So  the  prisoners  were  released.  Col.  Marshall 
took  no  notice  of  it ;  and  there  was  not  force  enough  in 
his  power  to  have  punished  me.  I  thus  became  more 
than  ever  popular  with  the  regiment. 

When  we  reached  the  west  bank  of  the  Rio  Grande, 
I  had  already  pitched  my  tent,  and  was  aiding  my  men  to 
set  up  theirs,  when  Marshall  rode  down  toward  me.  I 
suppose  he  had  mistaken  mine  for  his  company,  as  he 
was  somewhat  behind.  I  said  to  him:  "This  is  my  camp- 
ground, Captain  Marshall."  Whereupon,  making  some 
insulting  remark,  he  turned  upon  his  horse.  I  felt  now 
that  my  opportunity  had  at  last  come.  So,  rapidly  ad- 
vancing, I  said  to  him:  "Marshall,  get  down;  we  will 
settle  our  old  feud  now."  He  attempted  to  evade  the 
issue,  by  saying:  "Well;  at  another  time."  "The  time," 
said  I,  "for  men  who  wear  swords,  is  now."  "It  would 
embroil  the  regiment,"  he  replied.  "That  is  a  coward's 
plea.  At  Lexington,  when  men,  women,  and  children 
were  to  be  '  embroiled '  and  murdered,  you  had  no  scru- 
ples in  calling  for  blood."  By  this  time  the  whole  regi- 
ment were  lookers  on.  So,  drawing  my  sword,  which 
flashed  as  a  sunbeam,  I  advanced  upon  him.  He  turned 
his  horse,  and  retreated  in  the  direction  of  his  company ; 
where,  getting  his  pistols  in  his  holsters,  he  returned  on 
his  horse.  When  I  saw  his  ruse,  I  entered  my  tent, 
where   I    kept    always    loaded   a   splendid    pair   of  duelling 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  I4I 

pistols  ;  and,  with  one  in  each  hand,  already  cocked,  I  ad- 
vanced once  more,  saying:  "I  am  ready  for  you."  Mar- 
shall turned  again,  and  retreated  to  his  tent.  The  same 
evening  he  threw  himself  into  the  Rio  Grande,  and  tried 
to  drown  himself.  But,  when  the  men  fished  him  out 
half  drowned,  with  grim  humor  he  exclaimed:  "I  did  not 
say,   'help  me  Cassius,  or  I  sink'  —  did  I,  boys?" 

Thus  fell  Thomas  F.  Marshall.  Before  I  was  taken 
prisoner,  James  S.  Jackson,  in  a  duel,  shot  and  wounded 
him.  They  were  antipodes  in  character;  and,  Jackson 
being  my  friend,  made  Marshall  his  enemy.  Thus  was 
eternal  justice  vindicated.  I  scarred  his  soul,  and  Jackson 
his  body.  He  sleeps  in  a  drunkard's  grave,  in  his  native 
State,  which  no  stone  marks.  Spring  and  summer  come 
and  go.  No  flowers  shall  ever  bloom,  or  tears  fall,  upon 
his  neglected  ashes ;  for,  to  his  selfish  ambition,  he  be- 
trayed the  liberties  of  the  human  race,  and  his  memory 
shall  rest  in  darkness  forever! 

My  noble  and  gallant  friend,  James  S.  Jackson,  was  a 
native  of  Kentucky,  of  honorable  ancestors.  Of  a  hand- 
some physique,  with  a  frank,  flexible,  and  winning  face, 
he  was  a  man  for  men  to  admire,  and  women  to  adore. 
Returning  from  Mexico,  where  he  did  good  service,  he 
was  several  times  elected  to  the  Congress  of  the  United 
States.  When  the  Civil  War  broke  out,  he  took  his 
right  place  in  the  Union  army ;  and,  as  General,  at  the 
head  of  his  brigade,  in  the  battle  near  Lebanon,  Ky., 
gallantly  fell  in  defense  of  his  country. 

Kentucky  has  already  raised  monuments  in  memory  of 
some  of  her  illustrious  dead.  They  who  struck  to  destroy 
the  Union  of  these  States  are  now  the  favored  ones;  but 
time  will  come  when  her  true  heroes  shall  be  recognized, 
and  their  deeds  of  patriotism  inscribed  on  marble  and 
brass,  and  then  the  name  of  James  S.  Jackson  will  not 
be  forgotten. 

General    Taylor,    having    fought    and    gained    his    great 
battles   east  of  the   Rio   Grande,   and  captured    Monterey, 


142  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

was  left  inactive.  Whilst  the  Democratic  Administration 
was  maneuvering  to  check  his  popularity  and  fame,  which 
grew  dangerous  to  party-hacks,  by  making  the  diversion 
and  withdrawal  of  his  troops  to  General  Winfield  Scott, 
who  was  advancing  with  the  main  army  by  way  of  Vera 
Cruz  upon  the  capital  of  Mexico,  Taylor  received  me 
with  great  kindness,  as  all  the  other  generals  had  done ; 
and  invited  me  to  dine  with  him.  At  the  hour  named,  I 
entered  his  tent,  expecting  to  find,  at  least,  plenty  of  good 
things,  if  no  great  ceremony,  as  the  country  was  a  fruitful 
one.  But  I  sat  down  with  the  plainly-dressed  hero 
before  his  camp-chest,  and  partook  of  salt-pork,  "hard- 
tack," and  camp  coffee,  with  the  General  and  his  staff, 
among  whom  was  Colonel  Bliss,  his  aid  and  son-in-law. 
The  General  was  no  politician,  but  my  history  was  not 
unknown  to  him,  and  especially  to  Colonel  Bliss.* 

I  was  detached  from  the  regiment;  and,  with  Major 
Gaines,  and  two  companions,  was  sent  at  once  to  the 
head  of  the  column,  at  Saltillo,  where  General  Wm.  O. 
Butler  was  in  command.  Here,  also,  I  was  well  received, 
and  put  in  the  advanced  outposts,  whilst  the  rumored  ap- 
proach of  Santa  Anna's  army  was  awaited.  Whilst  here, 
General  John  S.  Williams,  then  Captain  of  Infantry  Vol- 
unteers, came  to  me,  told  me  his  company  was  in  revolt, 
and  asked  my  good  offices.  I  saw  the  company,  told 
them  of  the  danger  of  disobedience  of  orders,  and  per- 
suaded them  to  return  to  duty,  which  they  did.  Whilst 
at  the  advanced  outpost,  a  small  village,  I  was,  of  course, 
forced  to   be  very  strict   in   enforcing   orders.     One  of  my 

*  Here,  for  the  first  and  only  time,  I  saw  Jefferson  Davis,  who 
had  also  married  General  Taylor's  daughter.  For,  though  a  native 
of  Kentucky,  he  had  early  in  life  migrated  to  Mississippi.  Davis 
was  no  better  and  no  worse  than  the  other  rebels ;  and,  since 
Thomas  A.  Hendricks  is  elected  to  a  post  of  honor,  Davis  de- 
serves a  like  recognition,  if  the  Confederates  are  to  remain  per- 
manently in  power.  For,  of  all  men  in  America,  Hendricks  least 
deserves  honor  from  the  Nation.  — C.    1885. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 43 

company,  James  Gallagher,  a  very  large  Irishman,  diso- 
beying orders,  and  using  insulting  language,  I  gave  him 
at  once  a  severe  saber-blow  and  wound  in  the  face, 
which  brought  him  to  order.  The  army  regulation  saber 
was  rather  a  poor  weapon  for  a  cut,  though  it  might  well 
answer  for  a  thrust.  My  sword  happened  to  be  of  fine 
metal  and  temper ;  and  as,  at  the  Hot  Springs,  in  Arkan- 
sas, I  had  procured  one  of  their  noted  whetstones,  or 
hones,  at  leisure  hours  I  sharpened  my  sword  till  it  bore 
a  razor's  edge.  I  always  hated  shams  of  all  sorts,  and 
wanted  a  sword  for  possible  use,  and  not  merely  for  orna- 
ment. This  fact  had  come  to  T.  F.  Marshall's  ears;  for, 
in  excuse  for  his  cowardice,  he  said  I  bore  the  sharpened 
sword  of  an  assassin.  At  all  events,  poor  Gallagher  tested 
its  metal ;  but,  to  my  surprise,  on  his  return  home,  after 
I  was  taken  prisoner,  he  stood  as  my  friend  against  my 
envious   calumniators,  and  political    and   personal    enemies. 

Maj.  J.  P.  Gaines  being  ordered  by  Gen.  Wm.  O.  But- 
ler to  take  a  small  force  and  scout  in  the  direction  of  the 
noted  hacienda  of  Encarnacion,  selected  me  as  his  Captain, 
and  allowed  me  to  choose  the  men.  I  took  about  thirty 
of  the  best  men  from  my  own  and  other  companies ;  and, 
with  a  few  days'  rations,  set  out  with  my  command  — 
Major  Gaines  assuming  no  authority,  but  going  along 
with  us.  There  were  many  villages  in  the  route  of  about 
one  hundred  miles,  but  I  always  camped  in  the  open 
plains,  where  our  horses  could  get  grass ;  and  each  man 
was  ordered  to  sleep  near  his  tethered  horse,  so  as  to 
mount  at  once,  and  be  ready  for  fight  or  flight,  as  we 
were  on  the  best  horses,  and  could  outrun  any  Mexican 
cavalry. 

Without  adventure,  we  entered  on  the  third  day,  in 
the  late  afternoon,  the  hacienda  (country-house)  of  En- 
carnacion. This  hacienda,  the  property  of  a  landed  pro- 
prietor, was  a  large  brick  building  with  stuccoed  walls, 
and  a  flat  roof,  similarly  plastered.  In  extension  of  the 
walls   was  a  quadrangular  court-yard,   in  which  our  horses 


144  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

were  corralled  for  the  night.  Around  the  flat  roof  was  a 
wall  about  four  feet  high,  with  port-holes  for  musketry. 
The  heavy  doors,  also,  had  salient  angles  in  the  walls, 
with  similar  perforations  for  defense  —  all  intended  as  a 
fortification  against  robbers,  who  infest  all  Mexico.  The 
owner  had  hurriedly  deserted  the  premises,  leaving  some 
household  stores ;  and  Dr.  Solon  Borland,  a  Major  from 
General  Wool's  command,  who  had  sent  him  also  on  a 
scouting  party;  was  already  in  possession,  having  but 
lately  arrived.  As  Borland  ranked  Gaines,  he  assumed 
legally  the  command.  I  protested  earnestly  against  camp- 
ing in  the  hacienda.  They  said  there  was  not  a  Mexican 
soldier  in  five  hundred  miles  of  us ;  and  determined  to 
eat,  drink,  and  be  merry.  This  course  was  against  all 
military  rule  and  common  sens^e.  For  a  man  who  has 
the  lives  of  others  under  his  will  and  action,  is  bound  to 
take  all  precautions  for  their  safety,  and  leave  nothing  to 
chance.  Besides  this,  in  an  enemy's  country,  they  neg- 
lected to  place  a  picket-guard  in  the  leading  roads  to  the 
hacienda ;  and,  instead,  placed  the  night-guards  on  the 
roof  of  the  house.  At  day-break,  the  alarm  was  given 
of  the  enemy's  approach,  and  all  called  to  arms,  where 
we  stood  till  the  sun  lifted  the  fog  from  the  plains,  and 
we  found  ourselves  surrounded  by  three  thousand  of  Gen. 
Minon's  regular  Mexican  Cavalry.  Gaines  and  Borland, 
who  had  treated  my  protest  with  contempt,  were  now  as 
ready  to  come  to  me  for  help ;  and,  surrendering  the  com- 
mand to  me,  took  places  in  the  ranks.  We  were  seventy- 
two,  men  and  officers,  all  told,  with  very  limited  ammu- 
nition, without  water  or  forage  for  our  horses.  A  sur- 
render, then,  was  only  a  question  of  time.  I  at  once 
ordered  the  doors  barricaded,  the  men  upon  the  roof,  se- 
cure behind  the  parapet  walls,  and  had  the  interior  pave- 
ments torn  up  and  carried  above  to  assist  as  missiles;  as 
our  ammunition  was  very  limited,  and  we  had  no  cannon. 
As  soon  as  it  was  light,  Minon  ordered  his  troops  to 
dismount,    and    on    foot    advance    to   the    storming   of  the 


OF   CASSIUS*  MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 45 

quasi  fort.  Long  beams,  cut  from  trees  in  the  neigh- 
borhood, were  carried  by  the  soldiers  as  battering-rams 
for  the  doors ;  and  the  troops  on  foot,  with  carbines  in 
hand,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  Mendoza,  were  ad- 
vanced to  the  attack.  I  gave  orders  for  the  men  to  re- 
serve their  fire,  till  I  fired  the  first  shot.  I,  then,  alone, 
of  all  our  force,  stood  pistol  in  hand,  with  my  shoulders 
and  head  exposed.  No  other  persons  had  been  seen ; 
nor  could  they  know,  except  from  their  scouts,  our  true 
numbers. 

The'  battle-cry  of  the  Mexicans  that  day  was  "Arista," 
-to  which  I  responded  "Alamo."  At  Alamo,  in  Texas, 
under  Santa  Anna,  where  David  Crocket  died,  every  man 
was  killed  but  one,  who  escaped  by  some  means  to  tell 
of  the  terrible  massacre.  The  Mexicans  very  well  knew 
that  Alamo  meant  no  surrender,  but  war  to  the  death. 
The  enemy  had  already  advanced  within  pistol-shot,  I 
had  determined  to  fire  upon  the  Colonel  (I  was  sure  of 
killing  him),  who  had  advanced  close  up  to  his  men,  and 
seemed  to  be  urging  them  to  the  assault.  They  hesitated. 
At  once  a  white  flag  was  raised,  and  the  forward  move- 
ment stopped. 

There  was  in  Borland's  command  a  man  named  Henry, 
who  had  been  made  a  prisoner  at  Mier,  on  the  Rio 
Grande,  before  the  war,  and  was  now  used  as  an  inter- 
preter, acquainted  with  the  country,  and  speaking  the 
Spanish  language.  The  officer  bearing  the  white  flag,  on 
approaching,  demanded  the  surrender.  We  said:  "Send 
us  a  Major,  the  rank  of  our  commander,  and  we  will 
hear  you."  Soon  the  Major  came  forward,  was  admitted 
into  the  enclosure  and  detained,  and  Major  Gaines  sent 
to  negotiate  terms.  When  Gaines  returned,  we  had  a 
council  of  war;  and,  a  surrender  being  deemed  a  neces- 
sity, Gaines  was  sent  to  conclude  terms  with  General 
Minon.      The  treaty  was  thus  concluded: 

1  st.  The  most  honorable  treatment  as  prisoners  of  war, 
known  to  nations. 
Vol.  I.  — 10 


I46  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

2d.   Private  property  to  be  strictly  respected. 

3d.  The  Mexican  guide  to  receive  a  fair  trial  in  the 
civil  courts. 

Under  this  treaty,  which  was  verbal,  in  the  presence 
of  witnesses,  we  surrendered  about  twelve  o'clock  on 
the  23d  day  of  January,  1846,  about  a  month  before  the 
battle  of  Buena  Vista,  which  was  about  one  hundred 
miles  in  our  rear.  Majors  Gaines  and  Borland  were  al- 
lowed their  side-arms,  horses,  and  equipage ;  but  no 
others  were  allowed  their  horses  or  arms.  Colonel  Men- 
doza,  with  true  old-time  Spanish  magnamimity,  seeing  me 
left  afoot,  gave  me  a  very  good  Mexican  horse,  among 
the  best,  as  he  said,  in  honor  of  my  gallant  conduct  in 
the  defense.  My  pistols  were  delivered  up;  but  my 
watch,  and  some  other  articles  of  value,  left  with  me. 

Thus  perished  all  my  hopes  of  fame  during  the  war. 
Nothing  was  left  me  but  the  ever  faithful  discharge  of 
duty.  And  so,  in  the  course  of  Fate,  my  life  was  spared ; 
and  I  came  out  of  my  apparent  disgrace  with  more  honor 
and  popularity  than  any  one  of  our  regiment. 

Before  the  war,  the  restless,  lawless  frontiers-men  of 
Texas  made  a  foray  upon  the  Mexican  town,  Mier,  on  the 
Rio  Grande.  The  Texans  were  defeated,  and  made  pris- 
oners, among  whom  was  Captain  Henry,  and  also  a 
countryman  of  mine  named  Oldham.  He  spoke  Spanish 
tolerably  well.  The  prisoners  were  decimated,  every  man 
drawing  the  tenth  black  bean  being  shot.  Henry  and  my 
countryman  escaped  death,  but  were  taken  on  toward 
Mexico,  to  Salao,  where  they  rose  upon  the  guard,  killed 
some,  and  escaped  —  some  of  them,  through  incredible 
hardships,  to  the  United  States ;  but  the  most  of  them 
were  recaptured,  and  confined  in  the  prison  of  Perote. 

This  strong  fortress  was  built  of  stone  and  adobe, 
with  a  wide  ditch  and  outer  wall,  and  well  guarded, 
day  and  night,  by  soldiers.  These  men,  seeing  death 
threatening  them  for  their  second  offense,  some  of  them 
made   a   successful    escape.      They  first   took  up  the  pave- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 47 

ment  of  the  prison  floor,  and  dug  a  hole  under  it  to  the 
wall,  which  they  nearly  opened,  leaving  only  an  outer 
barrier,  which  could  at  once  be  removed.  They  slept 
upon  blankets  and  skins  upon  the  floor;  and,  spreading 
the  debris  under  them,  concealed  them  until  the  final 
night  of  escape.  Of  the  blankets  and  spare  clothing  they 
made  a  rope  long  enough  to  reach  over  the  outer  wall. 
In  the  meantime,  those  of  the  least  daring,  declining  the 
difficulties  and  dangers  of  escape,  were  in  the  habit  of 
playing  noisy  games,  and  singing  songs,  to  attract  the 
sentinels,  who  were  ready  enough  to  amuse  themselves  by 
looking  through  the  prison  windows.  Upon  a  dark, 
stormy  night  they  ventured  out,  whilst  the  men  inside 
were  unusually  diverting,  and,  tying  a  stone  to  the  rope, 
threw  it  over  the  wall ;  then,  lifting  themselves  up,  sailor- 
like, escaped.  Henry  was  among  them.  My  countyman 
was  nearly  starved,  and  suffered  greatly  for  water.  One 
day,  when  near  perishing,  and  lying  in  a  cave,  he  placed 
some  pebbles  in  his  mouth  to  cool  his  tongue,  when,  to 
his  great  joy,  he  found  a  small  spring  seeping  through 
the  sand  and  gravel.  Thus  refreshed,  he  made  new 
efforts,  and  reached  Texas.  Now,  when  we  surrendered, 
Henry  was  recognized,  and  severely  questioned,  so  that 
he  was  sorely  troubled,  fearing  that  he  would  be  shot. 
As  he  was  the  only  man  of  our  force  who  could  speak 
Spanish  (I  knew  a  little,  mostly  from  books),  he  was 
spared  as  an  interpreter. 

Setting  out,  the  day  of  our  capture,  for  the  city  of 
Mexico,  under  a  strong  guard,  commanded  by  Col.  Zam- 
bonino  and  Lieutenant  Cruset,  Gaines  and  Borland  were 
riding  fine  horses.  Henry  was  on  a  pony,  and  I  mounted 
upon  the  good  animal  which  Col.  Mendoza  had  given 
me ;  while  the  other  men  and  officers  were  in  column  of 
twos  on  foot. 

Lieutenant  Cruset,  a  Spanish  Catholic,  had  been  taught 
English  at  my  old  college  of  St.  Joseph  in  Kentucky,  and 
was  no  doubt  selected  for  that  reason  to  go  on  the  guard. 


148  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

As  the  men  approached  the  old  field  of  Salao,  they  natu- 
rally thought  of  the  old  affray,  and  began  cursing  the 
"Greasers,"  and  boasting  how  they  could  destroy  them. 
Cruset  hearing  these  threats,  told  Zambonino,  who  at 
once  ordered  Gaines  and  Borland  at  a  distance  to  the 
front,  leaving  me  in  command.  In  the  meantime,  Gaines 
and  Henry  had  exchanged  horses,  Gaines  having  selected 
the  best  racer  in  the  regiment,  instead  of  his  own  inferior 
horse ;  and  Henry  consulting  me,  I  agreed  that,  as  the 
Mier  Expedition  was  against  the  laws  of  Nations,  no  war 
having  been  declared,  the  United  States  could  not  inter- 
pose in  his  behalf.  So  he  determined  to  run  for  it;  and, 
going  down  the  ranks  under  the  pretense  of  closing  them 
up,  he  put  spurs  to  his  horse,  and,  leaning  forward,  as  a 
racer,  to  diminish  the  surface  of  his  exposed  body,  he  got 
a  fair  start  before  the  guard  could  draw  their  carbines 
and  fire.  They  pursued  him  at  once,  lances  in  hand. 
But  the  American  horse  was  too  fast  for  the  Mexican 
cavalry,  so  Henry  soon  distanced  them;  but,  imprudently, 
he  rode  his  horse  to  death,  and  was  found  by  some 
scouts  from  Butler's  command,  lying  half  dead  and  groan- 
ing by  the  wayside,  and  taken  to  camp. 

The  information  he  brought,  however,  proved  of  great 
service  to  our  cause ;  enabled  Taylor  to  advance  to  Sal- 
tillo  to  take  command,  and  gain  the  great  victory  of  the 
22d  of  February,  1846,  at  Buena  Vista.  In  the  mean- 
time, Col.  Zambonino,  who  was  in  advance  with  Gaines 
and  Borland,  returned  to  the  prisoners,  and  ordered  them 
to  be  lanced  — "  martez  fos."  But  I,  seeing  if  a  struggle 
once  began,  we  would  be  all  massacred,  ordered  the 
prisoners  to  lie  down,  to  show  no  resistance  would  be 
made,  which  they  promptly  did ;  when,  taking  the  lassos 
from  their  horses,  the  Mexicans  tied  their  hands.  I  was 
accused  of  all  the  trouble,  and  ordered  by  the  two  ser- 
geants in  advance  to  be  lanced ;  whilst  the  Colonel  held 
an  immense  horse-pistol  to  my  breast,  and  Cruset  threat- 
ened me  with  his  sword.     In   as   good   Spanish  as  I  could 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  149 

muster,  mixed  with  English,  which  Cruset  understood,  I 
protested  that  the  men  were  innocent,  and  knew  nothing 
of  Henry's  movements ;  that,  although  Henry  had  advised 
with  me,  I  took  no  part  in  his  escape,  as  it  was  to  save 
himself,  as  he  had  been  a  captive  of  Mier  and  a  prisoner 
at  Perote,  and  feared  death  at  all  events.  Hesitating, 
they  then  ordered  my  hands  to  be  tied.  I  then  said,  that 
I  had  received  honorable  terms  of  capture,  and  the  at- 
tempt to  tie  my  hands  was  a  breach  of  the  terms  of  sur- 
render, against  which  I  again  protested.  The  Colonel, 
seeing  all  safe  from  danger,  ordered  me  at  once  to  be 
released,  and  we  all  proceeded  on  the  march. 

For  a  few  days  the  men  and  officers  on  foot  remained 
tied  on  the  move  and  at  night,  but  were  soon  released 
from  this  precaution.  Before  many  days  we  met  Santa 
Anna's  army  on  the  plains.  They  showed  great  bitterness 
toward  us,  and  made  signs  of  stabbing  us ;  and  some, 
speaking  English,  declared  they  would  not  leave  an  Amer- 
ican on  that  side  of  the  Rio  Grande.  But,  when  we  came 
to  Santa  Anna,  who  was  riding  with  his  suite  in  a  car- 
riage drawn  by  six  horses,  with  postillions  and  outriders, 
in  great  style,  I  could  but  think  of  Taylor  and  his  tin- 
cups.  Calling  for  the  chief  of  our  force,  he  made  many 
inquiries ;  but  our  officers  gave  him  very  little  real  in- 
formation. 

The  march  from  San  Louis  Potosi  was  over  a  narrow, 
sterile  plain,  with  a  few  poor  peasantry  thinly  scattered 
along  the  foot-hills  ;  and,  of  course,  every  available  species 
of  live  stock  had  been  seized  and  used  —  the  poor  owners 
having  nothing  but  what  they  could  conceal  in  time  in  the 
soil,  or  drive  into  the  dreary  wastes  and  hills.  I  saw 
no  evidences  of  a  commissary  department,  but  with  the 
General-in-Chief.  He  was  very  fond  of  cock-fighting,  like 
most  Spaniards  and  Mexicans ;  and  he  had  coops  made  of 
diminishing  bottoms,  or  stories,  and  suspended  on  donkies 
and  mules  by  a  strap  on  both  sides  of  the  pack-saddles. 
These  were  full  of  cocks,  herded  and  driven  by  a  muleteer, 


150  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

and  which  he  fought  and  ate  when  wanted.  So  passed 
on  the  General  to  his  defeat  at  Buena  Vista. 

We  observed  that  these  troops  were  armed  with  new 
British  muskets,  no  doubt  a  gratuity  from  "Perfidious 
Albion."  And  so  we  worried  onward  to  the  celebrated 
mines  in  Potosi,  half  starved  for  water  and  food  —  at 
times,  no  doubt,  eating  mule  meat. 

Whilst  we  were  lying  in  our  guarded  quarters,  with  no 
sign  of  coming  rations,  an  Englishman  came  in  and  asked 
if  Mr.  Clay  was  among  the  prisoners.  I  said:  "That  is 
my  name."  "  Cassius  M.  Clay?"  "Yes."  "Did  I  not 
hear  you  speak  in  the  Tabernacle,  in  New  York  City,  in 
the  year  1844?"  "I  spoke  there,"  said  I,  in  not  a  very 
pleasant  humor.  He  thereupon  retired ;  and  soon  sent  us 
a  cold  ham  of  mutton,  well  stuffed,  after  the  French  style, 
with  garlic,  and  other  accompaniments,  upon  which  all  the 
officers  feasted  with  great  avidity;  and  I  suppose  the  sol- 
diers had  like  fare.  So  I  felt  quite  grateful  to  John  Bull, 
who,  I  must  say,  at  many  times  in  my  life  I  have  found  the 
truest  of  men.  For,  as  Emerson  says:  "Of  all  men,  the 
English  stand  squarest  in  their  shoes."  The  Texan  offi- 
cers were  in  fine  humor,  and  paid  me  the  characteristic 
compliment  of  saying:  "Clay,  you  ought  never  to  com- 
mit a  crime ;  for,  no  matter  to  what  part  of  the  world  you 
should  attempt  to  fly,  your  face  would  expose  and  con- 
demn you!"  Borland  and  Danley  were  low-bred  fellows, 
but  full  of  wit. 

So  we  passed  on  to  Mexico;  the  animosity  of  the  pop- 
ulace increasing  as  we  approached  the  city.  We  had  a 
hard  time  of  it,  often  wanting  food,  and  were  then  sup- 
plied, as  we  thought,  with  dog  or  mule-meat,  which  last, 
grazing  on  the  desert  plains,  was  the  substratum  of  our 
commissary  stores,  being  about  the  only  available  food. 
The  women,  however,  in  all  countries  the  most  charitable, 
would  run  out  with  eggs  and  the  staple  beans  and 
tortillas,  and  relieve  our  hunger,  as  we  passed  ranches 
and    small    villas.       At    Queratero    the    mob    rose    against 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  5  I 

us,  and  stoned  us.  We  ran  into  a  church,  horses  and 
all,  by  order  of  the  officers,  when  the  doors  were  closed, 
and  th.us  saved  ourselves,  as  the  Mexican  superstition 
makes  the  churches  secure  places  of  refuge. 

In  all  countries,  and  in  all  religions,  the  most  ignorant 
are  the  most  superstitious  and  intolerant.  When  the 
"Host"  is  borne  in  procession  from  one  church  to  an- 
other in  the  streets,  all  persons  are  expected  to  prostrate 
themselves ;  and,  failing  to  do  so,  are  knocked  down,  and 
sometimes  murdered.  So  once,  whilst  at  St.  Petersburg, 
on  a  State  occasion,  entering  the  vestibule  of  the  church 
of  Alexander  Nevski,  with  my  military  chapeau  on,  I  was 
quickly  advised  to  take  it  off;  as  the  custom  requires 
even  monarchs  to  take  off  their  hats  in  the  churches. 
And  at  the  Kremlin  gate,  where  a  saintly  image  is 
painted,  all  persons,  on  entering,  take  off  their  hats. 

Unhappily  for  priest  and  peasant,  religion  and  mor- 
ality are  often  far  apart;  and  the  greatest  sinner  is  often 
the  most  devout.  In  "the  good  time  coming,"  more 
and  more  may  we  hope  to  see  these  two  systems  "one 
and  indivisible!  " 


CHAPTER  IX. 


The  City  of  Mexico. — A  friend  in  need. — Dr.  Solon  Borland's  enmity. — The 
Water-Cure  cures  me. — Approach  of  General  Scott. — Removed  to  To- 
luca,  Capital  of  the  State  of  Mexico. — Journey  thither. — Character- 
istics of  its  People  noticed  by  Humboldt  and  Pritchard. —  Lolu. — In- 
dian gravity  over-rated. — Liberation  and  Return  to  City  of  Mexico. — 
Exchanged,  and  leave  for  Home. — Reception  in  Lexington. — Earth- 
quake. 


OUR  entry  into  the  City  of  the  Montezumas  was  as 
romantic  as  the  earlier  adventures  of  the  Spaniards. 
We  were,  as  the  soldiers  got  foot-sore,  mostly  upon  don- 
keys and  mules ;  and  were  halted  near  the  city  walls  till 
the  failing  moon  should  throw  a  shadow  upon  the  streets 
of  the  famed  city,  and  thus  save  us  from  the  vengeance 
of  the  populace. 

About  midnight  the  moon  sunk  into  the  west,  and 
darkness  began  to  shadow  the  doomed  city.  Santa  Anna 
had  confiscated  the  church  property,  and  the  Catholic 
clergy  had  raised  a  revolt,  and  actual  war  was  now  going 
on.  The  eternal  snows  of  the  distant  mountain  of  Popo- 
catepetl was  yet  brightly  tipped  with  the  moon's  rays, 
which,  by  an  optical  illusion,  seemed  to  be  in  the  very 
skirts  of  the  city's  walls.  Thus,  in  1870,  whilst  I  was  in 
Colorado,  an  Englishman  undertook  a  morning  walk  to 
the  peaks  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  which  were,  in  fact, 
fifty  miles  or  more  away.  All  the  city  were  in  arms ;  and, 
with  the  roar  of  the  cannon  in  the  streets,  was  the  accom- 
paniment of  the  musketry  from  the  flat  housetops,  with 
their  continuous  rattle  and  flashing  lights.  We  were  qui- 
etly marched  to  a  monastery,  which  was  now  used  as  a 
State  prison,  and  there  quartered.  The  officers  were 
separated  from  the  rank  and  file;  and  soon  we  heard  a 
152 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 53 

rush  —  the  rattling  of  chains,  and  a  volley  of  musketry.  I 
supposed  they  were  shooting  our  prisoners  ;  but  it  turned 
out  that  the  convicts,  having  dug  a  hole  under  the  walls, 
were  shot  as  they  emerged  into  the  open  space. 

I  here  passed  one  of  the  most  memorable  nights  of  my 
life.  So  our  entry  into  the  halls  of  the  Montezumas  was 
not  one  of  triumph  ;  but  it  was,  at  least,  one  of  discipline. 
It  showed  the  vanity  of  human  aspirations ;  and  how 
"Man  proposes  and  God  disposes."  To  me  it  was  a 
school  of  value,  which  taught  me  also  the  vanity  of  self- 
elation,  and  the  necessity  of  some  great  principle  of  human 
happiness  as  only  worthy  of  our  love.  And  thus,  perhaps, 
I  was  better  fitted  for  carrying  on  that  great  conflict  which 
Providence  rested  upon  individual  action ;  and  which  re- 
sulted at  last  in  triumph. 

Mexico,  the  capital  of  the  Republic,  is  too  well  known 
now  to  require  description.  It  is  about  200  north  latitude, 
upon  table-land,  several  thousand  feet  above  the  level  of 
the  sea,  with  mountains  of  eternal  snow  looming  up  in  the 
distance.  The  modern  city,  of  about  250,000  inhabitants, 
is  regularly  built  of  stone  and  brick  stuccoed.  The  houses 
are  Spanish  in  style,  the  best,  three  or  four  stories  high, 
running  down  to  one  in  the  poorer  parts.  The  streets 
are  regular;  and  with  the  churches  and  parks  and  public 
buildings,  the  city,  with  its  surroundings,  is  one  of  the 
finest  in  the  world;  and  Baron  Humboldt  so  expressed 
himself — he  who  had  seen  all  the  leading  capitals  of  the 
nations. 

There  is  no  winter,  really ;  the  winter  being  simply  the 
rainy  season,  when  rain  falls  regularly  about  half  the  day, 
and  then  the  sun  comes  out  as  in  a  May  day.  Hence, 
there  are  no  fires  in  the  Mexican  houses,  except  the  fur- 
naces of  charcoal  from  the  mountains,  with  which  the  most 
delicious  cooking  is  done.  Nowhere  else  does  man  so 
enjoy  existence  of  itself.  Even  the  most  energetic  can 
sit  for  hours  in  the  shade ;  and  the  pulsation  of  the  blood, 
passing  through  the  arteries  and  veins,  is  a  positive  pleas- 


154  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

ure.  And  well  may  it  be  said  of  this  country,  as  it  was 
related  of  Calypso's  isle,  that  the  clime  is  eternal  spring, 
and  the  lands  bordered  with  perpetual  flowers.  I  shall 
say  more  on  the  causes  of  this  lovely  clime  hereafter. 

We  remained  prisoners  in  the  monastery  of  St.  Jago, 
and  in  the  city  on  parole,  till  Scott  began,  after  many  vic- 
tories, to  threaten  the  city.  We  had  proposals  from  the 
Mexicans  to  join  them,  as  they  had  a  high  appreciation 
of  our  prowess  in  arms ;  but  this  we  positively  declined. 
We  had  poor  fare  in  prison,  and  slept  on  our  horse- 
blankets  on  the  floors,  being  allowed  a  few  hours  each 
day  for  exercise  in  the  prison-yard.  But  an  American 
citizen,  a  long  time  in  Mexico  as  a  stage-driver,  and  other 
employments,  and  married  there  to  a  Mexican  woman,  was 
very  kind  to  us,  loaning  us  small  sums  of  money.  His 
name  was  Noah  Smith,  and  I  believe  he  is  yet  alive  near 
Boston,  Massachusetts,  and  should  have  a  pension.  We 
had  a  hard  time  of  it,  however,  in  prison,  being  infested 
with  vermin  ;  and,  scarce  of  shirts,  we  had  to  pull  off  the 
one  we  wore,  and,  in  the  sunlight  from  the  window,  kill 
these  annoying  pests. 

I  was  poisoned  by  the  lead  pipes  which  bore  the  water 
from  the  main  aqueduct,  coming  from  the  mountains,  into 
the  prison.  I  had  made  an  enemy  of  Dr.  Solon  Borland 
by  saying  he  ought  to  have  been  shot  for  trapping  us  in 
Encarnacion ;  so,  though  I  never  was  in  more  pain  in  my 
life,  when  he  prepared  a  dose  of  medicine  for  me,  I  re- 
fused to  take  it,  preferring  the  chances  of  nature's  forces 
to  the  treacherous  doctor.  This  but  increased  the  offense; 
for  which  he  avenged  himself  by  setting  Captain  Danley, 
himself,  and  others,  to  slandering  me,  whilst  I  was  yet  in 
prison  at  Toluca.  I  had  a  bowl  of  water  and  a  towel ;  so 
I  tried  the  water-cure.  I  wet  the  towel,  and  laid  it  on  my 
abdomen,  leaving  the  evaporation  to  relieve  me  of  the 
great  heat  there.  This  gave  me  relief  somewhat;  and 
I  would  fall  asleep.  But,  when  the  pain  returned,  with 
the   drying  of  the  towel,    I   wet  it,   and   fell   asleep  again. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  1 55 

So,    having    a    powerful    physique,    I    recovered  —  much,    I 
thought,  to  the  mortification  of  the  Arkansas  doctor. 

When  General  Winfield  Scott  approached  the  city,  the 
military  commander  sent  for  us,  to  order  us  to  the  city  of 
Toluca,  beyond  the  mountains,  telling  us  to  be  ready  for 
to-morrow.  We  had  all  been  on  parole  for  a  short  time, 
but  which  we  hardly  dared  take  any  advantage  of,  on  ac- 
count of  the  enmity  of  the  populace.  The  interview  was 
conducted  by  an  interpreter;  and  Majors  John  P.  Gaines, 
Solon  Borland,  Captain  Danley,  and  Lieutenant  George 
Davidson,  as  they  claimed,  surrendered  their  parole.  I  was 
present,  and  did  not  so  understand  it.  It  certainly  was 
not  so  understood  by  the  commander ;  and  he  was  the 
one  deceived,  at  all  events.  For  no  sensible  man  will  al- 
low that  the  Mexican  general  intended  to  let  the  officers 
go  free.  These  men,  however,  escaped  by  the  means  of  Mr. 
Smith  and  others,  and  reached  Scott's  lines.  I  had  also 
offered  me  the  opportunity  of  escape  by  Smith,  and  some 
British  denizens,  but  I  refused ;  being  bound  by  my  parole 
d 'honneur  to  stand.  Captains  Heady  and  Smith,  of  Ken- 
tucky, and  other  officers,  also  refused  to  violate  their 
parole.  Besides,  our  escape  would  aggravate  the  condi- 
tion of  the  men  of  our  commands ;  and  I  felt  that  it  was 
my  duty  to  stand  by  them,  and  for  which  these  poor  fel- 
lows showed  much  gratitude,  For,  when  the  dishonored 
officers  slandered  me,  on  their  return  home,  these  soldiers, 
from  every-where  in  Kentucky  and  other  States,  most  ably, 
through  the  press,  vindicated  me  from  all  calumny. 

The  capital  of  the  Mexican  Republic  is  the  City  of 
Mexico,  and  so  the  capital  of  the  State  of  Mexico  is  the 
City  of  Toluca,  or,  as  it  was  called  in  the  time  of  the 
Spanish  conquest,  Tolocan.  This  city,  or  village  rather, 
in  appearance,  at  least,  is  but  a  long  day's  journey  by 
horseback  from  the  City  of  Mexico;  but  it  seems,  in  fact, 
as  far  away  as  if  it  were  a  thousand  miles.  The  capital 
of  the  nation  lies,  as  is  well  known,  upon  an  elevated  pla- 
teau,  between   two   mountain   ranges,  opening   toward   the 


156  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

north,  which  sinks  in  level  as  it  widens  northward ;  thus 
throwing  the  drainage,  which  flows  from  the  mountains, 
into  the  city,  and  adjoining  lakes,  in  that  direction.  This 
plateau  is  about  seven  thousand  feet  above  the  sea-level. 
At  the  conquest,  over  three  hundred  years  ago,  the  greater 
portion  of  the  valley  was  covered  with  forests ;  but  the 
destruction  of  these  conservative  forces  of  nature,  and  the 
burning  of  the  wood  on  the  mountains  for  coal  and  its 
other  uses,  has  filled  the  once  fertile  valleys  with  arid 
sands  and  crusted  nitre ;  and  the  debris  from  both  culture 
and  forests  have  greatly  filled  up  the  lakes  of  ancient 
times.  We  entered  the  city  from  the  north-west  side ; 
and  I  do  not  remember  any  lake  at  all  on  that  side. 
So,  in  time,  the  whole  of  these  lakes  will  be  filled  up, 
and  the  climate  made  less  agreeable,  and  the  soil  less 
productive. 

So,  going  to  Toluca,  the  most  of  the  route  lies  through 
wooded  mountain  passes,  and  is  cut  by  deep  and  dark  ra- 
vines. On  the  west  side  of  the  mountain  range,  appa- 
rently on  the  same  level  of  seven  thousand  feet,  you  de- 
scend into  the  plain  on  which  Toluca  is  built,  with  the 
mountain  peak  of  the  same  name,  fifteen  thousand  feet 
above  the  sea;  and  other  mountains  adding  great  sub- 
limity and  picturesqueness  to  the  scene.  As  this  city  lies 
in  the  latitude  of  200  north,  there  is  here  perpetual  spring; 
the  winter  being  only  a  succession  of  rains  for  about  half 
of  the  day,  when  the  sun  comes  out,  and  all  is  fair  again. 
Thus,  from  the  altitude  of  the  sun,  tropical  plants  flourish, 
and  their  fruits  mature ;  whilst,  in  the  shade,  the  general 
temperature  is  about  650  Farenheit  —  the  May-day  of 
temperate  climes.  Hence,  we  have  here  all  the  fruits  and 
cereals  of  all  climes,  and  nature  aggregates  her  favors  as 
nowhere  else  on  earth ;  for'  the  site,  between  the  Atlantic 
and  Pacific  Oceans,  and  the  high  table-lands,  are  nowhere 
else  duplicated. 

On  these  Arcadian  lands,  the  lemon,  the  orange,  the 
fig,  the  banana,  and  other  tropical  fruits,  are  mingled  with 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  57 

many  products  of  temperate  zones.  And  all  that  can  be 
desired  for  use  or  luxury  is  profusely  grown.  The  effect 
of  tropical  vegetation  upon  one  born  and  grown  to  man- 
hood in  forest  surroundings  was  intense  in  all  its  sensuous 
influence.  The  impenetrable  jungles,  thickly  set  with  im- 
mense feather-shaped  foliage  and  palms ;  the  hundred  spe- 
cies of  cactus,  with  their  grotesque  shapes  of  trunk  and 
leaf,  flower  and  fruit ;  the  Agave  Mexicana  (century  plant), 
here  planted  in  fields  as  Indian  corn,  and  in  a  few  nights 
sending  their  enormous  stems,  with  myriad  flowers,  into 
the  air,  twenty  and  more  feet  in  height;  the  many-colored 
parrots  and  parroquettes,  and  other  tropical  birds  of  rare 
plumage ;  and  the  many  cultivated  and  wild  flowers  and 
vines,  all  filled  me  with  intense  enjoyment.  Then  the 
snow-clad  mountains,  rising  abruptly  from  the  plains,  with 
ever-flowing  rivulets,  toward  which  countless  herds  of 
sheep  and  goats,  with  herders  of  a  novel  race  and  dress, 
were  moving,  amid  the  songs  of  the  birds  and  the  rip- 
pling of  the  waters,  made  this  the  Arcadia  of  the  an- 
cient's imagination.  To  me,  at  least,  it  was  an  elysium. 
The  eye,  the  ear,  the  flow  of  the  blood  through  the  veins 
and  arteries  —  existence  itself — was  a  positive  pleasure; 
so  that  I  felt  as  an  yEolian  harp,  which  was  played  upon 
by  the  breeze ;  and  my  every  sense  was  responsive  to  all- 
lovely  Nature. 

An  American  race,  long  anterior  to  the  Mexicans  and 
Aztecs,  who  understood  astronomy  and  worked  in  the 
metals  and  built  great  cities,  once  occupied  these  lovely 
lands.  Lakes  and  seas,  encouraging  commerce,  have  ever 
been  the  seats  of  civilization.  And  these,  with  the  ever- 
lasting spring,  developed  the  highest  American  progress  — 
mental  and  physical  development ;  and  this  higher  race 
was  the  result.  They  were  called  Toltecs ;  and  Toluca,  or 
Tolocan,  as  it  was  called  at  the  conquest,  was,  no  doubt, 
the  seat  of  their  ancient  kingdom. 

At  all  events,  I  found  here  a  new  race  of  natives,  un- 
like any  others   in   America.     They  were  tall,  and  fuller  in 


I58  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

person,  with  light  complexion,  some  having  blue  and  others 
grey  eyes,  and  dark  auburn  hair.  Used  all  my  life  to  the 
breeding  of  pure  races  of  live  stock  of  the  finest  forms,  be- 
sides my  love  of  art  in  painting  and  statuary,  and  having 
studied,  during  my  anti-slavery  career,  all  the  best  authors, 
French  and  English,  on  the  unity  and  diversity  of  the  Hu- 
man Race,  I  was  not  only  greatly  interested  in  these  peo- 
ple, but,  I  think,  brought  a  discriminating  judgment  to  my 
aid,  unusual  in  travelers.  I  am  sure  their  characteristics 
were  not  the  result  of  Spanish  crosses ;  for  such  are  com- 
mon in  the  Mexican  capital,  and  are  not  at  all  like  the 
Tolucans.  The  women,  especially,  would  interest  me ;  and 
I  found  them  beautiful,  with  large  brains,  more  thoughtful 
minds,  and  more  taste  in  all  ways  than  other  Indians  with 
whom  I  had  mixed  freely,  from  the  Rio  Grande  to  Toluca. 
The  hair  is  worn  in  two  plaits,  tied  with  yarn  or  colored 
ribbons,  hanging  down  the  back.  The  chemise  is  cut  low, 
and  the  arms  well  exposed.  To  the  waist  is  bound  several 
tiers  of  petticoats,  made  of  fine  native  cotton-cloth,  with 
very  highly-colored  and  well-contrasted  borders.  The  legs 
are  generally  bare;  and  the  feet  (like  the  hands),  well 
turned,  were  covered  with  Indian  sandals,  at  times  highly 
ornamented  with  beads  and  needle  work.  No  bonnets 
or  head-dress  is  worn ;  but  the  elegant  native  rebosa, 
or  shawl,  covers  the  head  and  part  of  the  face,  which  at 
will  reveals  at  times  the  full  anterior  busts  and  rounded 
arms. 

Spanish  is  spoken  more  or  less  in  all  Mexico  ;  and  the 
better  class  of  Indians  always  speak  it.  So,  when  I  got 
to  Toluca,  as  usual,  I  made  haste  to  enter  society  as  far 
as  I  was  able.  In  this  provincial  town,  having  no  com- 
merce, except  the  Federal  Governor  and  a  small  suite  ol 
dark  Spaniards  and  Indians,  there  are  rarely  seen  any  of 
the  white  race.  So  I  was  as  much  a  curiosity  to  them  as 
they  were  to  me ;  and  I  had  no  great  difficulty  in  making 
acquaintances  among  the  Tolucans.  Thus  I  was  spending 
my  time  very  agreeably. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  59 

In  all  countries  the  features  of  nature  have  been  the 
great  substratum  of  poetry  and  heroism.  In  cities,  na- 
ture, too,  is  appreciated,  but  it  is  human  nature ;  and,  as 
rural  scenes  are  comparatively  unknown,  women  and  men 
and  domestic  animals  are  all  that  remain.  Consequently, 
around  these  concenter  the  highest  interest  —  the  female 
singers,  dancers,  and  actors,  to  most  persons  being  the 
highest  ideals  of  earth.  But  here  were  all  the  great  ele- 
ments of  nature  —  lakes  and  lands,  the  sublime,  the  beau- 
tiful, and  the  picturesque ;  and,  added  thereto,  the  loveli- 
est of  women. 

I  had  spent  the  last  years  of  my  life  in  the  most  ex- 
hausting use  of  the  nervous  powers ;  and,  repose  was  not 
only  a  needed  rest,  but  the  greatest  luxury.  Among  these 
primitive  people  there  was  one  who  especially  interested 
me.  She  was  one  of  two  daughters  of  a  widowed  mother; 
her  brother  being  engaged  as  a  merchant  of  fruits,  carried 
on  burros  and  mules  to  the  capital-market.  She  bore  the 
name  of  Lolu  —  the  Indians  having  no  surname.  As  we 
Americans  were  the  enemies  of  her  people,  being  called 
"Los  Barbaros  del  Norte,"  we  had  but  small  claims  upon 
their  friendship ;  but  what  has  woman  to  do  with  these 
affairs  of  State  ?  She  saw  in  man  a  universe  of  her  own ; 
and,  like  most  women,  that  she  found  sufficient  for  all  her 
being.  But,  as  Scott  won  battle  after  battle,  and  the 
routed  stragglers  came  home  in  defeat  with  wounds,  the 
rage  of  the  rabble  increased,  till  the  officers  in  charge  had 
to  place  us  in  the  monastery  for  security ;  and,  yet  more, 
so  intense  was  the  excitement,  that  they  dared  not  trust 
our  safety  even  to  the  sanctity  of  that  place,  but  deemed 
it  prudent  to  place  a  guard  of  regulars  to  save  us  from 
the  vengeance  of  their  countrymen. 

We  were  still  nominally  on  parole ;  but,  in  fact,  close 
prisoners.  The  entrance  to  the  prison  was  through  an 
open  court,  or  rather  alameda,  or  park,  which  was  used 
as  a  fruit-market,   and  always  full  of  people.     So,   to  pass 


l60  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

out,  it  was  necessary  to  go  through  the  guard  and  all 
these  people,  when  recognition  would  be  immediate  death. 
I  tried  to  get  the  officers  to  join  me  in  a  sortie ;  but 
they  all  declined,  and  protested  against  such  folly.  But 
all  things  are  possible  when  a  woman  is  in  the  case.  So, 
procuring  a  sombrero  and  serape —  a  Mexican  hat,  and 
blanket  or  shawl  —  I  was  ready  for  action,  having  no 
weapon  but  a  pocket-knife ;  but  any  one  the  most  effi- 
cient would  have  been  useless  against  such  odds.  So, 
putting  on  my  hat,  and  drawing  my  serape  close  about 
my  face,  I  set  out.  The  guard,  of  course,  as  we  were 
on  parole,  had  orders  to  pass  us ;  so  on  I  went,  and  was 
unnoticed  by  any  one.  Lolu's  cottage  was  surrounded  by 
tropical  plants ;  the  fences  were  a  species  of  cactus,  so 
closely  planted  that  a  cat  could  not  pass.  These  were 
full  of  flowers  and  fruit,  and  filled  with  the  perfume  of 
the  orange  and  the  lemon.  So  the  whole  grounds,  and 
the  white  walls  of  the  dwelling,  were  literally  shadowed 
in  shrubbery  and  vines  and  perennial  flowers.  I  entered 
without  warning-.  She  was  sitting  alone  in  her  usual  lat- 
ticed  porch,  and  sadly  caressing  her  pet  paroquette.  This 
small  pet  was  as  full  of  brilliant  colors  as  a  humming-bird, 
and  spoke  many  words  in  Spanish  and  Indian.  This  girl 
was  about  eighteen  years  old,  of  a  stature  above  the  me- 
dium Indian  type,  and  more  full  in  person.  Her  eyes 
and  hair  (which  were  the  fullest  and  longest  I  ever  saw,) 
were,  the  eyes  grey,  and  the  hair  an  auburn,  but  both 
apparently  black.  Her  teeth  were  as  fine  and  even  as 
ever  graced  an  Indian  woman's  mouth.  Her  dress  has 
been  already  described.  As  I  came  in,  she  arose  in  aston- 
ishment, and  turned  pale  with  affright ;  but,  when  I  threw 
off  my  hat  and  shawl,  and  she  recognized  me,  the  color 
came  as  the  winter  fire  through  a  heated  stove,  and, 
dropping  her  rebosa,  she  rushed,  with  open  arms,  and 
kissed  —  me?  Not  at  all.  The  parrot,  which  bore  the 
euphonious  name  of  Leta,  was  unused  to  strangers  ;  and, 
when  she  saw  I  was  not  a  Mexican,  or,  rather,  a  Tolucan, 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  l6l 

she  dashed  at  my  face ;  and  Lolu  ran  and  caught  her  in 
her  arms,  and,  kissing  her,  said:  "Oh,  Leta!  Nuestro 
amigo,  Sefior  Clayo."  *  ....  It  was  Leta  she  kissed. 
Of  all  the  races,  the  Indians  are  the  most  modest, 
rarely  looking  at  you ;  but  they  are  not  as  grave  as  is 
supposed.  A  young  man,  not  sixteen  years'  old,  went 
with  my  father,  in  the  British  War  of  1812,  and  was 
taken  prisoner,  being  wounded  in  the  hand.  The  Indians 
took  him  into  Canada,  and  imposed  on  him  hard  work 
with  the  squaws.  He  was  frequently  joked  by  the  older 
men ;  and  the  boys  continually  annoyed  him,  much  to  their 
amusement.  They  would  say  to  him:  "Little  boy,  did 
you  come  here  to  fight  Indians?  Don't  you  wish  you 
were  at  home  under  mamma's  bed,  wringing  the  cat's 
tail?"  And  then  they  would  laugh  as  loud  as  a  country 
tavern-keeper.  One  day,  as  usual,  Jack  Wood  was  sent 
to  the  spring  to  bring  water ;  the  chiefs  were  sunning 
themselves  on  the  grass,  and  looking  on.  As  often  as 
Jack  would  get  nearly  up  the  bank,  an  Indian  boy  would 
trip  his  feet,  and  down  would  go  boy  and  crock  and 
water ;  and  this  was  several  times  repeated,  much  to  the 
amusement  of  the  chiefs.  At  last,  Wood  said  he  was  so 
angry  that  he  determined  to  revenge  himself  or  die.  So, 
as  the  boy  approached  him,  he  set  down  his  water-crock, 
and,  throwing  him  down,  poured  the  water  over  him,  and 
rolled  him  down  the  hill  —  crock,  water,  and  all  going  to- 

*  Humboldt  and  Pritchard  both  speak  of  the  Mexicans,  of 
course  including  the  Tolucans,  as  distinguished  from  other  In- 
dians by  the  greater  quantity  of  their  beard  and  mustaches. 
Prescott  says,  upon  their  authority:  "Thus  we  find  amongst  the 
generally  prevalent  copper  or  cinnamon  tint,  nearly  all  gradations 
of  color,  from  the  European  white  to  a  black  almost  African; 
while  the  complexion  conspicuously  varies  among  different  tribes, 
in  the  neighborhood  of  each  other."  (See,  also,  Humboldt's  Cos- 
mos, 2  vols.  ;  and  Pritchard's  Physical  History  of  Man,  in  4  vols.) 
About  the  color  there  is  no  doubt;  the  only  question  is,  were 
these  Toltecs?  — C.  1885. 
Vol.  I.— 11 


1 62  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

gether.  He  then  seated  himself  also  on  the  bank,  deter- 
mined to  stir  no  more.  Upon  this,  they  laughed  louder, 
and  more  than  ever ;  and,  coming  up  to  him,  lifted  him  up, 
and  said:  "Much  brave;  big  warrior."  And  thereupon 
they  gave  him  a  gun,  and  set  him  to  hunting.  So,  laying 
in  provisions,  he  made  a  pretended  hunt,  and  escaped. 

In  all  the  villages  in  Mexico  I  saw  something  of  In- 
dian life.  They  had  every-where  adopted  the  Spanish 
dances,  using  the  guitar,  or,  rather,  a  smaller  instrument, 
which  they  called  the  "guitarrilla."  With  this  music  they 
dance,  in  their  houses,  but  mostly  on  the  grass  in  the 
open  air,  cotillions,  waltzes,  and  fandangos.  The  fan- 
dango is  danced  by  the  lady  and  caballero  facing  each 
other.  They  dance  forward  and  back,  cross  over,  turn, 
etc. — like  Burn's  scene  in  Tarn  O'Shanter  —  getting  all 
the  time  more  active,  and  the  music  becoming  more  furi- 
ous. The  man  holds  his  hat  in  his  hand ;  and  the  woman, 
as  the  dance  warms  up,  at  times  drops  her  rebosa  on  her 
arm,  or  into  her  hand. 

I  find  the  common  people  of  all  nations  very  similar 
in  their  dances ;  the  difference  being  rather  in  form  than 
intensity.  But  I  wander.  The  "girls  and  boys"  at  times 
came  in  and  danced  at  Lolu's  house,  mostly  waltzes ;  but, 
as  I  did  not  waltz,  she  paid  me  the  compliment  to  pre- 
fer my  conversation,  such  as  I  could  make  it  in  poor 
Spanish,  to  the  dance.  As  I  said,  these  people  are  not 
always  grave.  I  was,  by  my  mother's  side,  dark-haired, 
with  dark  grey  eyes ;  but  my  skin  was  very  fair,  after  my 
father's  family.  One  day  the  girls,  thinking  it  could 
hardly  be  possible  that  I  was  so  white  without  paint,  got 
into  a  concerted  romp  with  me,  and,  dipping  their  hand- 
kerchiefs in  an  earthen  bowl  of  water,  which  they  had 
prepared,  all  came  down  upon  me  at  once,  and  tested  my 
color ;  but  I  stood  the  test  better  than  would  many  mod- 
ern fair  ones. 

One  day  I  found  Lolu  alone,  and,  as  usual  with 
women,  ancient   and   modern,  when   in   grief,  with   hair  di- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 63 

shevelled ;  tears  were  streaming  down  her  cheeks,  and 
she,  holding  out  a  handful  of  bright  feathers,  told  me  the 
cat  got  through  the  open  lattice  at  night,  and  killed  and 
ate  up  poor  Leta !  I  never  saw  her  look  so  interesting 
before ;  but  so  it  is  that,  with  or  without  art,  they  ever 
hold  us  the  more  firmly,  the  more  they  seem  to  be  least 
thoughtful  of  our  capture.  Was  this  emblematic  of  our 
ever-drifting  life ;  our  sunshine  and  shade  ?  when  the  most 
real  joys  fading  into  the  dead  past,  leave  us  but  rose- 
tinted  memories  of  the  days  which  are  gone, —  of  the 
scenes  which  come  no  more,  and  whose  only  traces  are  — 
tears !     Poor  Leta !     Poor  Lolu  ! 

Scott  had  now  been  sometime  in  possession  of  the 
capital,  awaiting  the  terms  of  peace,  as  they  were  being 
negotiated  by  our  government  through  N.  Trist.  We, 
like  Mrs.  Heman's  captive  knight,  were  forgotten.  Our 
officers  began  to  complain ;  and  I  summoned  up  energy 
enough  to  go  to  the  governor,  Oliguibel,  and  protest 
against  further  detention.  The  generous  commander,  pro- 
pitiated by  our  honorable  conduct  of  parole,  said  to  me  : 
"  Well,  be  ready  at  once ;  and  I  will  give  you  and  your 
men  an  escort,  and  send  you  to  General  Scott."  So,  the 
next  day,  we  were  on  the  march  to  Mexico,  on  parole; 
and  soon  exchanged  for  the  many  officers  and  men  whom 
Scott  was  too  happy  to  turn  loose.  Never  shall  I  forget 
how  the  stars  and  stripes,  mounted  upon  the  gate,  and 
the  public  buildings  of  the  romantic  city,  filled  me  with 
pride  and  joy,  as  the  emblem  of  our  triumphant  arms,  and 
home  once  more. 

General  Scott,  whom  I  now  saw  for  the  first  time,  in- 
vited me  to  dinner;  and,  saying  many  pleasant  things, 
sent  words  of  souvenir  to  my  brother-in-law,  John  Speed 
Smith,  who  was  quite  an  admirer  of  the  gallant  general ; 
and  who  now  looked  upon  the  second  Cortes  as  a  promi- 
nent candidate  for  the  Presidency.  So  we  were  soon  on 
our    way    home,    with    the    first    returning    column,    under 


164  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

General  Harney,  by  way  of  Vera  Cruz  and  New  Orleans. 
The  sea  was  very  boisterous;  but  we  reached  New  Or- 
leans safely,  and  in  good  health  and  spirits.  We  were 
there  mustered  out  of  service ;  and  took  different  routes 
to  our  several  homes. 

Some  of  the  captives  of  Encarnacion  had  gone  with 
me  to  Toluca;  others  were  sent  in  the  direction  of  Tam- 
pico,  and  many  others  had  gone  home  from  other  parts 
of  the  army,  who,  somehow  or  other,  had  proven  to  be 
my  devoted  friends.  The  officers  who  had  violated  their 
parole,  and  whom  I  said  ought  to  have  been  shot  for 
their  folly  in  being  trapped  in  the  hacienda,  and  who 
were  envious  of  seeing  an  enemy  like  Colonel  Mendoza 
paying  tribute  to  my  gallantry,  had  spread  all  kinds  of 
calumnies  against  me.  These,  the  soldiers,  now  in  several 
States,  had  warmly  refuted,  by  voluntary  proofs  in  many 
journals ;  so  that,  when  I  arrived  at  Lexington,  no  man 
in  the  army,  not  even  General  Taylor  himself,  would  have 
been  received  with  so  great  an  ovation.  The  gallant 
"boys"  who  had  shared  my  defeat  by  the  slave-holders, 
and  who  had  before  no  means  of  showing  their  devotion, 
now  rushed  out  with  wives  and  children  to  meet  me. 
Robert  S.  Todd,  my  old  and  faithful  friend,  the  father  of 
Mrs.  Abraham  Lincoln,  was  the  one  selected  to  give  the 
address  of  welcome ;  and  so  Lexington  was  never  before, 
or  since,  even,  in  such  a  state  of  enthusiasm.  I  was  es- 
corted by  all  to  my  home,  where  a  collation  had  been 
prepared  ;  and  where  all,  without  distinction,  gave  and  re- 
ceived welcome.  * 

*  Capt.  C.  M.  Clay. — This  gentleman  arrived  at  New  Orleans  on  the  24th 
ult.,  in  the  steamship  Alabama,  from  Vera  Cruz,  and  is  daily  looked  for  at  home. 
It  will  be  seen,  by  the  proceedings  of  a  public  meeting  held  at  the  Court-house  on 
Monday  evening,  in  our  columns  to-day,  that  the  compliment  of  a  public  reception 
on  his  return  to  his  home  in  this  city  from  his  long  captivity  in  the  gloomy  prison- 
walls  of  the  city  of  Mexico —  a  captivity  incurred  while  in  the  discharge  of  his  duty 
in  the  volunteer  service  of  the  country — is  to  be  extended  to  him.  The  military 
companies  composing  the  "Legion"  of  this  city  have  also  determined  to  extend  to 
him  the  same  compliment;  and,  in  a  notice  to  that  effect,  it  is  announced  that 
thirteen  guns  will  be  fired  at   6   o'clock   on    the   morning  of  the  day  of  his  arrival. 


OF  CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 65 

Whilst  in  Mexico  I  felt  two  very  marked  "tremblors," 
or  earthquakes.  In  the  Santa  Anna  theatre,  a  part  of 
which  was  a  hotel,  I  was  rooming  in  the  third  story,  and 
while  fully  awake,  but  yet  lying  in  bed  one  morning,  the 
doors  of  the  clothes-press  moved  visibly  on  their  hinges, 
making  a  slight  noise.     I  at  once  knew  it  was  an  earth- 

His  reception  by  his  numerous   personal    friends   in   this   city  will   be  most  enthusi- 
astic.— Lexington  Observer  and  Reporter. 

For  the  Observer  and  Reporter. 

RECEPTION    OF    CAPT.     C     M.     CLAY. 

A  public  meeting,  convened  in  pursuance  to  previous  notice,  was  held  at  the 
Court-house,  on  Monday  evening  last,  to  take  into  consideration  the  propriety  of 
making  some  suitable  demonstration  of  respect  for  Capt.  Cassius  M.  Clay,  on  his 
arrival  at  his  home  in  this  city,  now  daily  looked  for.  The  meeting  was  organized 
by  the  appointment  of  Robert  S.  Todd,  Esq.,  as  Chairman;  and  John  F.  Leavy, 
Secretary. 

The  following  resolutions  were  submitted,  which,  after  able  and  eloquent  ad- 
dresses from  the  Hon.  George  Robertson,  James  McMurtry,  and  Henry  C.  Davis, 
Esqrs.,    svere  unanimously  abopted: 

Resolved,  That  as  a  demonstration  of  our  esteem  and  confidence,  we  cordially 
welcome  Capt.  Cassius  M.  Clay  to  his  home,  and  tender  him  a  public  reception. 

Resolved,  That  in  the  opinion  of  this  meeting,  he  possesses  all  the  highest  and 
noblest  qualities  of  the  soldier;  and  that,  in  the  voluntary  proffer  of  his  life  to  save 
the  lives  of  his  men,  we  have  an  evidence  of  that  heroic  and  self-sacrificing  spirit 
which  would  have  won  renown  on  any  field,  and  is  the  brightest  ornament  of  the 
true  soldier. 

Resolved,  That  he  was  impelled  to  go  forth  to  fight  the  battles  of  his  country, 
from  the  loftiest  considerations  of  patriotism  and  duty. 

Resolved,  That  in  his  tender  care  for  the  sick  and  suffering  of  his  men ;  his 
sympathy  for  them  in  the  perils  and  hardships  and  privations  of  a  painful  and 
harsh  imprisonment ;  his  provision  for  their  wants,  in  expending  the  last  dollar  of 
his  money,  and  selling  his  coat,  we  see  the  generous  warm  heart  alive  to  the  afflic- 
tions and  distresses  of  the  honest  and  humblest. 

Resolved,  That  the  citizens  of  Lexington,  irrespective  of  party,  tender  to  C.  M. 
Clay  a  cordial  reception,  and  join  in  the  reception. 

On  motion  of  Col.  Lewinski,  Col.  D.  S.  Goodloe,  Col.  Jesse  Bayles,  and 
Edward  Oldham,   Esq.,   were  requested  to  act  as  Marshals  on  the  occasion. 

The  meeting  then  adjourned. 
J.  F.   Leavy,  Secretary.  R.  S.  Todd,   Chairman. 

Capt.  Cassius  M.  Clay.  — This  gallant  Kentuckian  reached  this  city  on  Satur- 
day last,  and  was  welcomed  by  his  fellow-citizens  by  a  display  of  enthusiasm  never 
before  witnessed  in  this  country.  At  an  early  hour,  men,  women,  and  children, 
from  all  sections  of  the  country,  might  be  seen  wending  their  way  to  the  city  and 
at  different  points  forming  themselves  into  groups,  when  the  valorous  deeds  of  our 
Cassius  were  recounted  to  them  by  our  modern  Tribunes  —  not  by  public  function- 
aries, but  by  those  who  were  eye-witnesses  to  his  martial  deeds,  and  who  were  con- 
versant with  the  country  in   which    he  was    detained    a   prisoner.     About   I  o'clock, 


I  66  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

quake.  My  first  idea  was  to  run  down,  and  into  the 
street;  but,  on  reflection,  I  concluded  that,  in  so  doing,  I 
would  be  in  equal,  or  greater,  danger  than  in  remaining. 
So,  with  a  Turk's  sense  of  fatality,  I  remained  in  bed. 

Again,  when  at  Toluca,  sitting  in  a  portico  with  some 
companions,  a  more   sensible  shock  was  felt.      The  Mexi- 

P.  M.,  the  omnibus,  which  conveyed  him  from  Frankfort,  reached  the  suburbs  of 
the  city,  when  the  assembled  multitude  were  made  acquainted  with  the  fact  by  the 
booming  of  cannon,  the  echo  of  which  died  away  amid  the  shouts  of  Kentucky's 
noble  yeomanry.  Thither  they  sped  their  way,  when  he  was  greeted  with  cheers  — 
loud  and  long  —  which  made  the  welkin  ring.  He  was  then  welcomed  home  by 
Captain  Jouett,  chairman  of  the  committee  appointed  for  that  purpose,  in  an  appro- 
priate speech.  Having  undergone  great  fatigue  in  traveling,  Captain  Clay  was  un- 
able to  speak  at  any  great  length;  but  invited  everybody  (about  500  people,)  to  take 
supper  with  him  in  the  evening.  He  was  then  escorted  to  his  residence  by  three 
military  companies  and  an  assembled  multitude.  During  their  march  through  the 
city,  the  merry  peals  of  all  the  church  bells  in  the  city  filled  the  air  with  music,  and 
lent  a  charm  to  the  spell  which  bound  the  hearts  of  all.  The  windows  of  every 
house  on  the  route  were  filled  with  Kentucky's  fair  daughters,  who  waved  their 
handkerchiefs  in  token  of  their  welcome,  as  the  procession  moved  on. 

At  an  early  hour  in  the  evening,  the  house  of  Captain  Clay  was  filled  to  over- 
flowing by  his  friends,  who  were  anxious  to  exchange  with  him  salutations  of  friend- 
ship, and  bid  him,  in  propria  persona,  "welcome  home."  —  Lexington  Intelligencer. 

Captain  C.  M.  Clay's  Arrival  and  Reception. — The  firing  of  cannon  at 
early  dawn  on  Saturday  morning  last,  in  conjunction  with  printed  advertisements 
freely  circulated  among  our  citizens,  made  known  to  them  that  this  gentleman  would 
certainly  arrive  at  2  o'clock,  P.  M.  Long  preceding  that  time,  a  large  concourse  of 
people,  male  and  female,  in  carriages,  on  horses,  and  on  foot,  had  assembled  at  the 
outskirts  of  the  city  to  greet  his  coming.  Hundreds,  if  not  thousands,  anxiously 
awaited  his  approach.  His  long  and  arduous  captivity  in  a  hostile  country,  and, 
during  that  captivity,  the  magnanimity  he  exhibited  toward  his  fellow-sufferers,  who 
had  less  advantages,  and  the  fact  that  he  was  debarred,  by  unavoidable  misfortune, 
from  participating  in  any  of  the  glorious  victories  which  have  crowned  our  arms  in 
Mexico,  altogether  had  awakened  and  enlisted  the  warmest  sympathies  of  his  fellow- 
citizens. 

Minute  guns  were  fired  as  he  entered  the  city.  After  reaching  the  principal 
street,  Captain  Jouett,  in  behalf  of  the  military,  welcomed  him  home  in  a  brief,  elo- 
quent, and  tasteful  address,  to  which  Captain  Clay,  in  appropriate  and  feeling  terms, 
responded. 

Robert  S.  Todd,  Esq.,  who  presided  at  the  meeting  of  the  citizens,  which  re- 
solved to  give  to  Captain  Clay  the  compliment  of  a  public  reception,  then  took  the 
stand;  and,  in  a  most  beautiful  and  cordial  manner,  welcomed  the  gallant  Captain 
home,  which  met  a  warm  response  from  the  multitude  which  surrounded  him. 

After  Mr.  Todd  concluded,  the  procession  moved  on  to  the  residence  of  Captain 
Clay,  and  there  took  leave  of  him. 

The  reception,  however,  ended  not  here.  The  friends  of  Captain  Clay  had  pre- 
pared for  illuminating  the  large  lawn  which  fronts  his  residence;  and,  upon  his  invi- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  1 67 

cans  cried  out  "  Tremblor ! '"  But,  as  we  were  near  the 
ground,  and  a  slight  roof  over  our  heads,  no  one  moved. 
In  no  event,  in  human  experience,  does  one  feel  more 
utterly  helpless  than  during  an  earthquake,  unless  it  be 
in  the  midst  of  a  mob,  such  as  that  I  went  through  in 
1845;  and  when  all  that  seemed  possible  was  stoically  to 
submit  to  fate. 

tation,  our  citizens  thronged  his  house  and  premises  after  night,  where  an  elegant 
supper  was  prepared  for  them,  and,  after  a  friendly  and  cordial  interchange  of  feeling 
and  sentiment,  the  great  mass  of  people  quietly  dispersed.  —  Observer  and  Reporter. 

Captain  C  M.  Clay.  —  A.  C  Bryan,  W.  D.  Ratcliff,  Charles  E.  Mooney,  John 
J.  Finch,  and  Alfred  Argabright,  who  were  among  the  Encarnacion  prisoners,  have 
published  a  card  in  the  Lexington  Observer  speaking  in  the  highest  terms  of  the  treat- 
ment they  received  from  Captain  Clay  during  their  captivity.     They  say: 

"When  Captain  Henry  made  his  escape,  and  the  Mexican  commander,  excited 
by  that  event,  gave  orders  for  the  massacre  of  the  Americans,  Captain  Clay  ex- 
claimed: 'Kill  the  officers;  spare  the  soldiers!'  A  Mexican  Major  ran  to  him, 
presenting  a  cocked  pistol  to  his  breast.  He  still  exclaimed:  'Kill  me  —  kill  the 
officers;  but  spare  the  men  —  they  are  innocent!'  Who  but  C.  M.  Clay,  with  a 
loaded  pistol  to  his  heart,  and  in  the  hands  of  an  enraged  enemy,  would  have 
shown  such  magnanimous  self-devotion?  If  any  man  ever  was  entitled  to  be  called 
'the  soldier's  friend,'  he  is.  He  was  ever  watchful  and  kind  toward  us,  allowing 
every  privilege  that  would  be  granted  by  our  enemies;  turned  all  orders  and  com- 
mands into  advice  and  consolement;  and,  upon  our  march  to  the  city,  would  take 
turn  by  turn,  allowing  us  to  ride  his  mule,  that  we  might  stand  the  march  of  forty 
miles  a  day  ;  divided  the  last  cent  of  money  he  had  with  us,  and  resorted  to  every 
sacrifice  to  make  us  happy  and  comfortable.  He  disposed  of  his  mule,  when  he 
found  it  necessary  —  the  only  animal  he  had  —  his  buffalo  rug,  his  watch,  and  all 
his  clothes  but  one  suit,  and  supplied  our  wants.  He  not  only  acted  in  this  manner 
toward  those  who  were  under  his  immediate  command,  but  to  all ;  and  expressed  his 
regret  that  he  was  unable  to  do  more."  —  Lexington  Observer  and  Reporter,  October 
20,  1847. 


CHAPTER    X. 


The  Political  Situation. — Nomination  and  Election  of  General  Z.  Taylor 
President  of  the  United  States. — Defense  of  Henry  Clay. — Results  of 
his  Defeat. — The  Dissolution  of  Parties  in  1848. — "The  True  American" 
becomes  "The  Examiner."  —  Emancipation  Convention  in  Frankfort. — 
Freedom  of  Speech. —A  Memorable  Day.  —  My  conduct  in  Mexico  in- 
dorsed by  "The  Salt  River  Tigers."  —  The  New  Constitution. — Death 
of  Cyrus  Turner. — Kentucky  Constitution  passed  in  1850. — Five  Letters 
to  Hon.  Daniel  Webster. 


TOWARD  the  close  of  the  year  1847,  parties  began, 
as  usual,  to  prepare  for  the  next  Presidential  elec- 
tion. I  said,  in  reply  to  Robert  S.  Todd's  speech,  that  I 
returned  with  my  views  on  the  slavery  issue  unchanged. 
The  gallantry  of  General  Z.  Taylor  in  the  war  had  made 
him  many  friends ;  and  the  effort  of  the  Democratic  Ad- 
ministration to  weaken  his  success,  by  the  diversion  of 
General  Winfield  Scott's  march  upon  Mexico,  added  to 
Taylor's  supporters,  who  felt  that  injustice  was  intended 
toward  a  gallant  soldier.  Taylor  was  a  man  of  moderate 
capacity,  but  a  fine  character;  and  had  been  successful  as 
a  soldier.  Like  most  of  the  regular  army,  he  cared  but 
little  for  politics ;  had  rarely  voted,  but  was  regarded  as  a 
Whig.  The  mere  politicians  in  the  Whig  ranks,  long  fol- 
lowers of  Henry  Clay,  began  to  weary  of  continued  de- 
feat, and  saw  in  Taylor  the  way  to  power.  Mr.  Clay,  in 
the  last  canvass,  made  no  new  friends,'  and  lost  many  old 
ones.  Taylor  had  no  enemies ;  and,  his  being  a  slave- 
owner, which  would  lose  him  some  Whigs,  would  be  com- 
pensated by  the  many  Southern  Democrats,  and  others, 
who  would  fill  their  places  on  account  of  his  military 
glory.  My  personal  quarrel  with  the  Whig  Party,  who 
struck  hands  with  the  Democrats  in  the  overthrow  of  the 
1 68 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 69 

Trite  American;  my  alienation  from  Mr.  Clay,  and  my 
gratitude  to  General  Taylor,  for  his  friendly  reception 
of  me  in  the  army,  threw  me  at  once  into  the  ranks  of 
Taylor's  friends.  Besides,  it  was  a  part  of  my  policy  to 
destroy  the  old  parties,  to  build  up  the  new  one  of  uni- 
versal liberty.  General  Taylor's  friends,  seeing  that  Clay 
had  the  old  party  machinery,  advised  Taylor  to  take  an 
independent  position ;  and  he  was  regarded  as  an  inde- 
pendent candidate  when  he  was  nominated  at  Baltimore 
by  the  nominal  Whig  Convention.  I  entered  at  once  into 
the  canvass,  joined  by  the  secret  friends  of  Taylor.  With 
my  own  followers,  we  carried  the  Fayette  delegation  to 
the  State  Whig  Convention  in  favor  of  Taylor,  I  being 
one  of  them.  At  Frankfort  I  assumed  the  leadership, 
being  untrammelled  by  party  ties,  and  lacking  that  timid- 
ity which  partizans  always  show  in  new  movements. 

All  the  factions  of  the  Whig  Party  acted  with  me.  I 
dwelt  upon  Taylor's  glorious  victories,  his  noble  character, 
and  the  injustice  done  him.  Our  policy  was  to  appoint 
delegates  favorable  to  Taylor  in  a  quiet  way;  and  this 
we  accomplished,  so  as  to  have  a  majority.  The  Clay- 
ites,  seeing  that  a  defeat  here  would  be  ruin  in  the  Na- 
tional Convention,  were  afraid  to  take  a  vote  in  his  favor. 
Garrett  Davis,  who  was  the  friend  of  my  brother,  Brutus 
J.  Clay,  of  the  same  county  of  Bourbon,  and  who  had 
gone  to  Lexington  during  the  mob  of  1845  m  mY  de- 
fense, was  true  to  Clay,  and  was  put  forward  as  their 
leader.  He  made  a  violent  and  untrue  assault  upon  me 
personally ;  but  I  had  higher  game  in  hand,  and  did  not 
intend  to  be  diverted  from  my  purpose.  So  I  paid  no 
attention  whatever  to  the  little  man. 

As  soon  as  the  Convention  was  over,  I  went  immedi- 
ately to  New  York  City,  and,  in  the  Courier  and  En- 
quirer (the  newspaper  of  James  Watson  Webb,  who  fa- 
vored Taylor),  published  an  open  letter,  in  which  I  stated 
that  Mr.  Clay's  own  State  delegation  was  in  favor  of 
General    Taylor ;    and    deprecated    any    further    waste    of 


I70  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

Whig  strength  in  attempting  to  nominate  Clay.  He, 
however,  came  out  in  an  open  letter,  advocating  his  own 
nomination.  This  was  contrary  to  the  pledge  of  his 
friends  at  Frankfort.  So  I  wrote  a  second  letter,  in  which 
I  arraigned  Mr.  Clay  for  undue  ambition;  and  reviewed 
his  claims  to  continued  support  in  the  bitterest  letter  of 
my  life.  The  Clay-Whig  press  roared  as  a  herd  of  wild 
beasts.  Their  last  chance  of  promotion,  ambition,  or  tri- 
umph was  gone  forever.  Clay  was  badly  beaten  in  the 
Convention ;  and  Taylor  was  nominated  and  elected  — 
Millard  Fillmore,  of  New  York,  being  the  Vice-President. 

Among  others,  the  New  York  Express,  edited  by  the 
Brookses,  published  a  violent  and  untrue  attack  upon  me, 
and  refused  to  publish  my  reply.  Thereupon,  I  wrote, 
from  the  Astor  House,  to  them,  demanding,  in  a  deter- 
mined way,  justice ;  for  I  was  ready,  in  some  form,  to  de- 
fend myself — with  pen  or  sword.  So  they,  next  day, 
published  my  response.  As  soon  as  Clay  was  beaten,  I 
was  filled  with  regret. 

This  letter  of  mine  to  Henry  Clay  was  written  before 
the  publication  of  my  "Writings  and  Speeches,"  in  1848; 
but  I  did  not  insert  it,  because  there  was  no  time  for  cool 
consideration.  Nor  will  I  produce  it  now,  but  do  justice 
to  Henry  Clay.  The  letters  were  written  under  circum- 
stances which  excited  in  me  the  greatest  indignation,  in 
view  of  all  the  facts  known  to  me,  and  aggravated  by  a 
misapprehension  of  other  alleged  facts. 

The  mob-movement,  begun  before  the  15th,  was  called 
several  days  beforehand,  and  was  to  assemble  on  the  18th 
of  August,  1845.  1°  tne  interval,  Henry  Clay  and  Robert 
P.  Letcher  left  Lexington  in  a  private  conveyance,  and 
went  to  the  Virginia  White  Sulphur  Springs,  unexpectedly 
to  everybody.  James  B.  Clay,  a  son  of  Henry  Clay,  was 
Secretary  of  the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  Sixty  that 
sent  my  press  to  Cincinnati.  As  the  handbills  generally 
circulated  in  the  interior  of  Kentucky  called  for  my  death, 
it    will    be    seen    that    I    stood    here    upon    impregnable 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS  CLAY.  171 

grounds  in  my  letter.  The  friends  of  Clay  in  the  Frank- 
fort Convention  had  pledged  themselves  that,  if  we  took 
no  vote  in  favor  of  General  Taylor,  Mr.  Clay  would  not 
be  a  candidate ;  and  we  took  none.  When,  therefore,  I 
read  Mr.  Clay's  letter,  consenting  to  run  for  the  Presi- 
dential nomination,  I  felt  that  a  new  wrong  was  added  to 
the  old.  And  yet  more,  Samuel  Shy  had  just  written  to 
me,  then  in  New  York,  that  the  "  Old  Chief,"  and  other 
counsel  for  James  B.  Clay,  had  driven  them  into  trial,  with 
my  counsel  absent,  etc.  "Old  Chief,"  as  Clay  was  gen- 
erally called,  turned  out  to  be  Chief-Justice  Robertson. 
So  all  these  accumulated  wrongs,  as  I  saw  them,  drove  me 
to  turn  on   my  enemies  with   all   the  power  I  could  wield. 

Such  is  the  history  of  this  noted  letter.  When  I 
found  I  was  wrong  in  the  assertion  of  Mr.  Clay's  pres- 
ence at  the  trial,  I  wrote  a  letter  correcting  my  state- 
ment; and,  when  I  was  cool,  I  felt  sincerely  sorry  for  the 
angry  method  of  my  warfare.     So  much  for  my  defense. 

After  I  compared  Mr.  Clay  with  others  of  modern 
times,  I  saw  how  infinitely  more  honorable  he  was  than 
they,  and  how  much  he  deserved  to  be  President ;  and, 
above  all,  I  saw  how  so  many  of  his  pretended  friends 
stabbed  him  in  the  dark,  till  my  anger  against  him  turned 
into  pity,  for  his  undeserved  fate.  Candor  now  compels 
me  to  reverse  my  opinions  of  his  conduct ;  and  I  give  the 
reasons. 

When  Wickliffe  was  beaten  by  me,  in  1840,  Mr.  Clay 
voted  for  me.  Then  arose  the  slavery  issue.  I  was  again 
a  candidate  in  1841  ;  and  Mr.  Clay  advised  me  not  to  run 
again,  but  to  await  a  more  favorable  time.  This  I  saw 
was  said  in  good  faith.  We  stood  on  different  ground. 
Such  time  for  me  would  never  come.  I  therefore  ran 
again  in  1841.  Now,  as  Mr.  Clay  advised  me  not  to  run, 
and  I  did  not  follow  his  advice,  I  do  not  think  that  I  had 
any  right  to  denounce  him  in  a  political  sense  for  leaving 
me  to  my  fate  in  1845.  I  judged  his  duty  to  me  by  my 
own  heart,  not  by  the  logic  of  events. 


172  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

With  regard  to  the  Texas  issue,  Mr.  Clay  never  con- 
tradicted his  "Raleigh  letter"  by  his  "Alabama  letter." 
The  Abolitionists  put  a  wrong  construction  upon  his  letter, 
which  my  grievances  against  him  caused  me  to  follow, 
without  sufficient  study  of  his  real  opinions  expressed  in 
those  two  letters.  So  that  the  term  "Janus-faced,"  though 
apparently  applicable,  on  mature  reflection  was  only  so  in 
appearance. 

Long  years  ago  his  sons  and  I  have  been  on  friendly 
terms,  both  of  us  understanding  the  truth  about  these  let- 
ters ;  and,  had  I  space,  I  would  publish  them  now,  with 
the  view  of  giving  a  true  historical  account  of  a  personal 
and  political  affair  in  which  I  claim  that  the  "gallant 
Harry"  was  right,  and  I  was  wrong.* 

*  Henry  Clay.  —  This  gentleman  might,  had  he  seen  fit,  have 
prevented  the  mob  at  Lexington.  At  any  rate,  he  could  have 
tried  to  stop  it.  But  what  did  he?  According  to  the  papers,  he 
left  Lexington  on  the  day  before  the  mob,  well  knowing  what  was 
in  progress,  and  abandoned  the  friend  who  had  been  so  faithful, 
and  who  had  done  so  much  for  him,  to  the  tender  mercies  of  an 
infuriated  mob !  Is  this  the  chivalrous,  the  gctie?vus  ' '  Harry  of 
the  West?"  Even  so.  And  Henry  Clay's  son,  James  B.  Clay, 
acted  as  Secretary  of  the  Mob  Committee  that  broke  up  the  printing 
office !  What  think  you  of  this,  Whigs  of  the  North  ?  —  Chicago 
News,    1848. 

For  the  Louisville   Courier. 
TO  THE  PUBLIC. 

The  extraordinary  war  which  has  been  made  upon  me  by  the 
press  since  my  publication  of  the  Clay  letter,  though  unparalleled 
for  vindictiveness  in  the  history  of  this  country,  strikes  no  terror 
into  my  spirit.  I  have  lived  through  more  concentrated  and  bitter, 
if  not  more  wide-spread  calumny,  than  this — biding  my  time,  re- 
posing upon  the  integrity  of  my  purposes,  and  the  ultimate  tri- 
umph of  truth  and  justice,  till,  in  the  place  of  my  degradation, 
those  same  men,  in  public  assembly,  and  by  solemn  vote,  mag- 
nanimously bore  testimony  to  my  honor,  integrity,  and  patriotism. 


OF   CASSIUS  MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  73 

Henry  Clay's  statesmanship  is  eminently  proved  by 
events.  The  ultra  Abolitionists  elected  Polk,  like  the 
Prohibitionists  did  Cleveland  —  their  antipodes.  As  Clay 
predicted,  then  came  war;  and  the  constitution  was  vio- 
lated in  the  annexation  of  Texas. 

The  slave-power,  encouraged  by  success,  made  Texas 
a  slave  State,  capable  of  division  into  many  States,  and 
thus  brought  on  the  Civil  War. 

As  Clay  foretold,  Texas,  after  all,  is  a  free  State.  But 
the  end  is  not  yet.  The  Bourbon  Democrats  are  in 
power.  Will  they  save  themselves  by  making  Demo- 
cratic States  out  of  Texas,  and  thus  change  the  Senate? 

If  Clay  had  been  elected  by  the  insane  ultraists,  in 
1844,   might    not   slavery  have    been   abolished    peaceably, 

In  that  letter,  upon  the  coolest  examination,  I  find  nothing  to 
retract.  I  challenge  the  friends  of  H.  Clay  to  its  refutation.  The 
spirit  of  the  letter  I  am  not  by  any  means  prepared  to  defend. 
No  man  feels  more  truly  than  I,  that  it  is  better  to  forgive  than 
to  avenge !  I  feel  no  triumph  over  H.  Clay's  defeat.  The  faults 
which  I  attribute  to  him  are  such  as  flow  from  too  great  ambition. 
If  ambition  be  the  vice  of  noble  minds,  I  am  more  ready  to 
lament  than  to  denounce.  I  regret  that  I  have,  in  the  discharge 
of  my  duty  to  the  Whig  Party,  and  the  country,  injured  the  feel- 
ings of  H.  Clay.  I  forbear  to  urge  the  misapprehension  of  facts 
which  influenced  me.  A  man  who  undertakes  to  instruct  the 
public  can  not  be  allowed  to  plead  ignorance,  or  mix  personal 
feeling  with  the  sacredness  of  country.  For  this,  I  am  ready  to 
suffer  the  penalty.  —  C.   M.   C,    1848. 

CORRECTION. 
White  Hall  P.  O.,  Madison  Co.,  Ky.,  May  19,   1848. 

Editor  of  the  Lexington   Observer  and  Reporter : 

Sir:  —  Upon  my  arrival  at  Lexington,  on  my  return  from 
Mexico,  I  learned  that  Hon.  H.  Clay  was  one  of  the  counsel 
against  me  in  the  mob  case.  Leaving  home  with  that  impres- 
sion, when  Mr.  Shy  wrote  to  me  that  he  had  been  forced  into 
trial  without  my  principal  witness,  without  my  other  two  counsel, 
and  in  my  absence,  saying  that  he  had  succeeded  against  the 
"Old  Chief,"  I  concluded  that  Mr.   Clay  was,  of  course,  alluded 


174  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

and  the  conservative  elements  of  the  Nation  now  be  in 
power  in  the  Union?  Ultra  factions  in  all  ages  have  been 
the  ruin  of  States. 

Thus,  whilst  the  Whig  Party  was  divided  into  personal 
and  political  factions,  and  was  hastening  to  dissolution, 
the  Democrats  were  in  no  better  condition.  John  Quincy 
Adams  having  attacked,  or  rather  defended,  the  people 
against  the  attack  of  the  slave-power  on  the  Right  of  Pe- 
tition, had  begun  the  political  war  which  the  Abolition 
Party  had  morally  organized.  He  was  sustained  by  Joshua 
R.  Giddings,  a  Whig,  and  Salmon  P.  Chase  and  John  P. 
Hale,  Democrats,  as  the  leading  forces.  Both  parties 
began  rapidly  to  disintegrate  upon  this  one  issue ;  for  Mr. 
Adams  had  summed  it  up  long  before  Seward's  "Irrepres- 
sible Conflict,"  by  saying:  "Slavery  will  fall  before  the 
Union,  or  the  Union  will  fall  before  Slavery." 

The  Democratic  Party,  which  illegally  annexed  Texas, 
and  had  carried  on  a  successful  war,  seemed  to  be  in  the 
course  of  a  sure  victory ;  but  a  split  occurred,  which  was 
fatal  to  its  success.  Martin  Van  Buren,  who  headed  the 
Hunker,  or  Pro-slavery,  Party  in  the  great  State  of  New 
York,  opposed  the  annexation  of  Texas ;  and,  instead  of 
being  reelected  by  the  accustomed  courtesy,  was  super- 
seded by  James  K.   Polk.      So,  when  the  election  of  1848 

to ;  as  this  was  a  designation  familiarly  used  by  his  acquaintances. 
I  have  just  learned,  however,  from  a  friend,  that  Mr.  Clay  was 
not  present  at  the  trial ;  and,  as  I  have  given  currency  to  the  re- 
port, both  by  conversation  and  letter,  on  my  first  impressions,  it 
is  due  to  myself  and  Mr.  Clay,  that  I  should  now  make  the  only 
reparation  in  my  power,  by  asking  the  publication  of  this  card.  I 
exceedingly  regret  this  error  of  mine,  as  it  is  the  cause  of  some 
injustice  to  Mr.  Clay  at  a  critical  period ;  and  the  public  press, 
unfortunately,  is  not  always  as  ready  to  repair  an  injury  as  to  do 
one.  Your  obedient  servant, 

C   M.   CLAY. 
P.   S.  —  I   presume   Ex-Chief-Justice   Robertson  was  alluded  to 
by  the  designation  of  "Old  Chief."  —  C. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  1 75 

came  on,  and  Lewis  Cass  was  made  the  nominee  of  the 
slave-power,  Van  Buren  joined  the  Barnburners  or  Lib- 
erals. Nominated  at  Buffalo  by  all  the  elements  of  slave- 
opposition,  including  Chase,  Giddings,  Hale,  etc.,  he  car- 
ried New  York,  and  thus  beat  Cass  and  elected  Taylor. 
Whilst  my  sympathies  were  with  the  Liberal  movement  and 
all  its  elements,  I  canvassed  for  Taylor  and  voted  for  him. 
But,  though  I  could  well  have  held  office  under  him,  I 
declined  being  a  candidate  for  any  favor ;  and  pursued  my 
one  great   aim  —  the   overthrow  of  slavery  by  home-action. 

The  True  America?i  was,  during  my  absence,  edited 
by  my  friend,  John  C.  Vaughan,  of  South  Carolina  birth, 
but  then  an  emigre  and  citizen  of  Ohio.  My  brother, 
Brutus  J.  Clay,  my  financial  agent,  thought  it  best,  dur- 
ing my  long  absence  and  uncertain  return,  to  discontinue 
the  paper.  As  soon  as  I  joined  the  invading  army,  my 
principal  supporters,  the  Abolitionists  and  some  of  the  po- 
litical foes  of  slavery,  lost  confidence  in  my  purposes,  de- 
nounced me,  and  ceased  to  take  my  paper.  So,  whilst  it 
had  steadily  increased  till  the  Mexican  War,  it  now  fell 
off  in  circulation.  Thereupon  Vaughan,  taking  my  ma- 
terial and  subscribers'  list,  located  in  Louisville,  and  started 
the  Examiner ;  for  now  there  was  no  difficulty  in  carrying 
on  an  anti-slavery  paper  in  Kentucky.  So,  on  my  return, 
I  paid  Vaughan  for  filling  my  unexpired  list,  and  adopted 
his  journal  for  all  party  purposes. 

In  1849  we  held  an  Emancipation  Convention  in  Frank- 
fort, at  my  instance,  and  put  the  State  Liberal  Party  in  an 
advanced  position.  * 

*  Speech  of  C.  M.  Clay  at  the  Emancipation  Convention,  Frankfort, 
Kentucky,  May  4,  1849. 
C.  M.  Clay,  of  Madison,  remarked  that  he  had  not  trespassed 
on  the  time  of  the  Convention.  I  know,  said  he,  that  I  am  char- 
acterized as  impulsive,  hot-headed,  reckless,  and  passionate.  I 
knew  and  felt  that  there  was,  even  here,  a  soreness,  an  unwill 
ingness  to  hear  me,  though  I  had  made  so  many  sacrifices  for  the 
cause,   and   had    fought    for   it,    in   my  own   humble   way,   so   many 


176  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

The  Convention  was  gotten  up  by  me.  It  was  my 
policy  to  commit  as  many  men  as  possible  to  our  cause, 
whatever  the  degree  of  their  convictions ;  so  I  kept  in 
the  background.  But  the  resolutions  of  Judge  Samuel 
Nicholas,  as  a  substitute  for  the  original  ones,  (weak 
enough,  surely!)  wtmlcl  not  allow  me  further  silence. 
Others   fell  by  the   wayside ;    I   went   on   to   the   end. 

I  had  exposed,  in  the  True  American,  a  vulnerable  part 
in  the  State  Constitution,  by  showing  that  the  prohibition 
of  the  emancipation  of  slaves,  without  compensation,  ad- 
mitted the  power  to  liberate  with  compensation ;  and  the 
right  to  act,  therefore,  implied  the  right  to  discuss.  So 
the  slave-power,  defeated  at  Lexington,  intended  in  time 
to  change  the  Constitution  and  make  slavery  perpetual,  so 
far  as   a   Constitution  could    effect  that  object.      The  last 

battles.  I  was  conscious  of  that  feeling  here,  and  therefore  felt 
disinclined  to  say  anything  at  all.  I  differed  from  the  majority  of 
the  Committee  on  the  resolutions  reported ;  but,  in  deference  to  the 
judgment  of  the  Committee,  I  forebore  to  say  anything  against  the 
report,  but  openly,  here  in  my  place,  gave  in  my  adhesion.  It 
was  a  very  large  Committee  —  one  from  each  county  represented. 
They  sat  in  council  four  or  five  hours.  There  was,  in  committee, 
a  full,  frank,  and  candid  interchange  of  opinion.  The  report  of 
the  committee  is  the  result  of  that  free  consultation.  It  has  been 
reported  and  is  now  in  the  hands  of  the  Convention.  We  fanatics 
are  willing  to  take  your  compromise.  We  think  it  too  moderate; 
and  I  have  been  reproached  by  some  because  I  yielded.  But  I 
have  satisfied  myself  that  I  did  right  in  yielding. 

But  is  it  not  astonishing,  when  we  are  thrown  into  confusion 
because  of  the  moderation  of  our  councils,  that  we  are,  at  this  late 
hour,  presented  with  another  proposition,  cutting  vay  far  under  the 
report  of  the  Committee  ?  And  we  who  have,  it  is  feared,  compro- 
mised too  much  already,  are  asked  to  come  yet  lower  down ! 
Really,  Mr.  President,  if  I  did  not  know  my  friend,  Judge  Nicho- 
las, to  be  at  heart  a  true  friend  of  this  cause  —  if  I  were  left  to 
judge  him  by  his  proposition  only  —  I  fear  I  should  be  constrained 
to  set  him  down  as  an  emissary  from  Robert  WicklifFe,  sr. ,  or 
John  C.  Calhoun.  I  am  the  more  surprised  at  the  proposition, 
because  of  the  knowledge  I  have  of  his  intelligence  and  his  devo- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  77 

Legislature  had  called  a  Convention  for  such  change,  and 
the  members  were  to  be  elected  this  year  (1849).  Feel- 
ing now  strong  enough,  by  my  war  record  and  the  cur- 
rent of  events,  to  take  the  stump  and  enter  upon  a  full 
discussion  of  the  subject,  an  event  came  to  my  aid.  Two 
gentlemen,  school-teachers,  I  believe,  invited  me  to  speak 
on  slavery  at  Lawrenceburg,  Anderson  County,  Kentucky. 
I  accepted  the  invitation,  and  named  the  day. 

This  was  an  untried  field,  where  the  appeal  was  to  be 
made  to  the  people,  with  all  the  excitement  and  dangers 
of  a  face  to  face  debate.  Lawrenceburg,  the  county  seat 
of  Anderson  County,  on  the  south-west  side  of  the  Ken- 
tucky River,  was  then  the  poor,  cross-roads  town  of  a 
broken,  hilly  county.  It  is  now  quite  a  flourishing  place, 
made  rich  by  the  celebrated  Anderson  County  "Bourbon," 

tion  to  this  cause.  I  can  not,  however,  sit  down  without  offering 
a  very  few  remarks,  giving  reasons  why  we  should  not  entirely 
postpone  the  fight.  The  report  of  the  Committee  leaves  us  at 
liberty  to  go  to  work  now ;  to-day  we  may  begin  the  fight,  and 
not  cease  to  battle  until  the  field  is  ours.  What  if  it  be  true  that 
politicians  and  the  money-power  are  against  us?  Will  our  silence 
bring  them  to  us?  No  sir.  They  were  against  us  in  '78.  They 
have  been  against  us  for  fifty  years;  they  have  grown  strong  from 
our  supineness,  and  powerful  because  of  our  inaction.  The  last 
Legislature  put  its  leaden  heel  upon  us  while  we  slept.  Thank 
God !  the  touch  of  that  heel  has  broken  our  slumber.  I  have 
looked  to  the  coming  of  this  day  with  the  deepest,  the  profound- 
est  solicitude.  It  is  but  yesterday  that  I  was  denounced  as  a 
disturber  of  the  peace  —  yesterday  we  were  threatened  with  the 
halter  —  to-day  we  speak  in  the  capital  of  the  State,  and  we  may 
speak  and  be  heard  in  every  part  of  the  State.  The  tongue  is 
again  free  to  speak  the  language  of  the  heart.  This  is  a  mighty 
progress  in  the  cause.  It  is  but  the  feeble  foreshadowing  of  the 
great  results  in  store  for  us.  Talk  to  me  about  party  alliances! 
Have  not  the  parties  forgotten  their  allegiance  to  the  right  in  all 
things,  to  fasten  upon  the  country  this  curse  of  Slavery?  'Tis  but 
the  other  day  that  the  bans  were  celebrated  in  Fayette,  between 
Whigs  and  Democrats,  that  slavery  might  be  perpetuated !  Shall 
we  be  bound  down  by  old  party  ties  while  our  adversaries  are 
Vol.   I.  — 12 


I78  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

which  its  pure  and  plentiful  water  and  fine  grain  allow. 
There  were  few  slave-holders ;  and  the  people,  far  re- 
moved by  lack  of  rail  and  McAdam  road  from  commerce, 
were  rude  but  independent.  Such  I  deemed  a  favorable 
place  for  testing  the  possibility  of  free  discussion  ;  for  the 
rencounter  at  Russell's  Cave  had  taught  me  that  debate 
was  more  dangerous  on  the  stump  than  discussion  in  the 
press.  Seated  in  my  buggy,  behind  a  fine  trotter,  on  a 
pleasant  spring  day  in  April,  and  passing  over  much  good 
road,  and  twice  over  the  broken,  picturesque  cliffs  of  the 
Kentucky  River  —  at  other  times  the  travel  would  have 
been  delightful. 

forgetting  or  forsaking  everything  for  Slavery?  The  party  in  favor 
of  freedom  is  growing  every-where.  It  has  broken  through  party 
restraints  at  the  North.      It  will  do  so  here. 

Some  say:  "It  is  imprudent  to  agitate."  Shall  we  vote  our- 
selves agitators?  Others  may  so  call  us,  but  are  we  prepared  to 
say  that  we  are  agitators  ?  For  myself,  I  am  for  agitating  this 
question.  If  we  are  to  rid  ourselves,  we  must  agitate  it.  When 
a  convention  of  crowned  heads  assemble  in  the  old  world  to  estab- 
lish for  their  people  pure  republican  governments,  then  may  we 
expect  slave-holders  to  meet  to  emancipate  their  slaves,  and  not 
before.  As  republics  are  only  established  by  agitating  the  ques- 
tion of  freedom,  so  is  emancipation  to  be  accomplished  only 
through  the  agitation  of  the  subject.  We  must  convince  the 
people  —  the  real  people  —  of  its  importance,  before  it  can  be 
done.  How  are  we  to  get  at  the  non-slaveholders  but  by  agita- 
tion? The  newspapers,  as  a  general  thing,  do  not  reach  the  non- 
slaveholders.  We  must  seek  them  out  —  at  the  cross-roads  and 
places  of  public  resort  in  their  neighborhoods.  The  newspapers 
are  already  open.  Even  that  old  Hunker  press,  the  (Louisville) 
Journal,  has  been  compelled  to  open  its  columns  to  the  friends  of 
emancipation.  But  we  want  something  more  than  the  press.  We 
want  men  on  the  stump.  We  want  to  get  at  the  ear  of  the  peo- 
ple. The  resolutions  of  the  Committee  display  a  magnanimous 
moderation.  Let  us  pass  them,  and  then  do  battle  for  them. 
Let  every  good  friend  of  the  cause  buckle  on  his  armor  and 
"  never  say  die  !  "  * 

*The  resolutions  were  passed,   as  reported  by  the  Committee.  — C.   1885. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY. 


179 


In  Mexico  I  had  felt  two  earthquakes  —  one  in  the 
Santa  Anna  hotel  and  theatre,  at  the  City  of  Mexico;  and 
the  other  at  Toluca.  The  idea  is  known  to  all  to  be  that 
there  is  no  escape  by  any  human  effort;  and  running  from 
the  houses  into  the  street  is  about  as  dangerous  as  staying 
within.  So,  in  the  great  struggle  which  I  was  now  enter- 
ing anew,  there  was  no  outside  support;  and  I  had  to  de- 
pend upon  myself  and  fate  for  the  solution. 

Self-defense  is  the  first  law  of  nature;  and,  standing 
upon  my  rights  of  State  and  National  Constitutions,  I  was 
allowed  full  discussion  of  all  subjects  —  even  slavery;  being 
responsible  by  legal  process  for  punishment  in  its  abuse. 
At  Lexington,  on  the  18th  of  August,  1845,  tne  combined 
physical  power  of  the  community  was  too  strong  for  me, 
and  my  press  was  removed  to  Ohio ;  but  I  stood  impreg- 
nable in  my  moral  strength  of  self-sacrifice  and  fortitude, 
which  proved  at  last  triumphant.  So,  now,  I  had  all 
the  moral  and  legal  forces  on  my  side ;  and  so  much 
physical  power  as  good  arms  and  a  brave  heart  could 
give  me. 

If  there  was  such  a  thing  as  evil  in  the  world,  slavery 
was  an  evil.  If  there  was  such  a  thing  as  justice  among 
men,  then  justice  required  the  liberation  of  the  slave ;  and, 
as  to  rights:  "The  greatest  of  all  rights,  was  the  right  ol 
a  man  to  himself."  If  God  governed  the  world  by  general 
laws  for  the  greatest  happiness  of  all  his  creatures,  I  was 
in  the  right  direction  of  the  Divine  will.  If  there  ever 
was  a  Special  Providence  inspiring  the  human  soul,  now  it 
should  be  felt.  Every  human  thought  and  act  tells  in  the 
great  destiny  of  the  race,  as  molecules  of  water  make  up 
the  ocean ;  so  each  individual  is  an  essential  part  of  that 
force  which  directs  all  to  the  great  ends  of  our  earthly  ex- 
istence. The  inspired  Scriptures  and  natural  law  leading 
in  the  same  direction,  it  only  remained  for  me  to  go  in  the 
path  of  duty,  to  sow  the  seed  of  good  fruit.  The  results 
were  in  the  regions  of  the  unknown,  but  the  end  was  with 
God. 


l80  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

These  were  the  thoughts  which  were  ever  present  with 
me  in  so  many  trying  scenes ;  and,  as  Cyrus,  before  the 
great  battle  which  decided  the  fate  of  Babylon  and  the 
Persian  Empire,  drew  up  his  army  and  sacrificed  to  the 
gods,  and  thus  filled  his  men  with  faith  and  moral  power, 
so  I  went  to  my  solitary  struggles  leaning  confidently  upon 
the  arm  of  the  Omnipotent  One. 

Never  shall  I  forget  the  emotions  of  that  day.  Before 
the  destruction  of  the  forests,  the  spring  was  earlier  than 
now.  But  it  was  now  about  the  middle  of  April.  The 
buds  were  more  than  half  swollen  into  leaf;  the  blue- 
grass  was  so  rich  in  green  as  to  assume  that  peculiar 
color  which  in  Kentucky  only  seen  gives  it  that  famous 
name.  The  plowmen  were  whistling  in  the  fields ;  and 
the  girls  and  boys,  white  and  black,  in  the  gardens,  were 
sending  out  peals  of  laughter  and  merry  voices  in  their 
pleasant  work.  In  crossing  the  Kentucky  River  I  was 
brought  face  to  face  with  its  bold  cliffs  of  limestone  and 
its  banks  covered  with  wild-flowers  and  wild  grape-vines, 
and  the  dog-wood  and  red-bud  in  bloom.  The  fish  were 
playing  in  the  clear  waters;  and  the  redbirds  and  orioles 
and  thrushes,  and  other  songsters,  were  building  their 
nests,  and  pouring  forth  their  mingled  voices  in  one 
universal  jubilation!  I  could  but  exclaim,  with  Byron: 
"Beautiful!  how  beautiful  is  all  this  visible  world!"  It 
reminded  me  of  my  earlier  days  —  so  many  spent  in  these 
same  ever  lovely  "hills  and  dales."  Now  they  were  more 
beautiful  than  ever.  It  might  be  "the  last"  to  me  "of 
earth!"  "Our  life  is  a  false  nature.  It  is  not  in  the 
harmony  of  things  —  this  hard  decree  —  this  uneradicable 
taint  of  sin  !  " 

How  strangely  is  the  mortal  and  the  immortal  blended! 
How  these  earthly  ties  held  me  from  my  noble  aspirations! 
Why  should  I  give  up  all  self-enjoyment  for  others'  happi- 
ness !  Why  not  leave  the  wronged  and  the  wrong-doer 
to  remorseless  fate !  Never  before  was  I  so  shattered  in 
my  purposes!      Could  I,  with  all  my  sins,   be  the  protege 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  l8l 

of  a  sin-hating  God?  Might  I  not  die  the  death  which 
the  fool  dieth  at  last?  Then  again  my  nobler  nature 
revived.  Had  I  not  stood  unharmed  under  the  most 
depressing  circumstances?  Had  I  not  been  victorious 
against  overwhelming  odds?  Why  should  I  not  hope? 
If  I  stood  born  of  two  natures,  who  made  them  but  God! 
So,  from  the  unseemly  earth  spring  all  the  glories  of  ani- 
mal and  vegetable  life !  The  rose-tree  strikes  its  roots  into 
the  very  cesspools,  but  its  flowers  are  bathed  in  the  beauty 
of  eternal  sunshine !  So  strengthened,  I  went  on  with  a 
security  and  a  courage  which  nothing  on  earth  could  move. 

Thus  filled  with  final  resolve,  I  reached  at  night-fall 
my  destined  village.  There  was  but  one  hotel,  standing 
by  itself,  without  trees,  except  a  few  scraggy  locusts,  and 
without  a  fence.  But  the  landlord  was  kind ;  my  horse 
was  cared  for,  and  a  palatable  dinner  and  supper  com- 
bined was  provided  and  fully  enjoyed. 

On  inquiring  about  the  gentlemen  who  had  invited  me 
to  speak,  I  learned  that  they  had  left  the  county.  Many 
reflections  rushed  upon  my  mind ;  and  the  departure  of 
my  two  friends  was  no  favorable  omen. 

In  these  primitive  times  there  was  a  sawed  log  placed 
under  the  trees  as  a  stand  for  the  wash-pan,  and  a  large 
towel  of  coarse  flax,  or  hemp,  cloth  used  in  common.  I 
had  walked  down  stairs  without  my  coat;  and,  of  course, 
unarmed,  was  washing,  when  a  half  dozen  men  came  up, 
and  said:  "Is  this  Cassius  M.  Clay?"  '-Yes."  "Well, 
we  have  some  resolutions  here,  passed  in  public  meeting 
of  our  citizens,  which  we,  as  their  committee,  are  directed 
to  hand  to  you."  I  read  them.  They  were  in  the  usual 
style,  speaking  of  the  dangers  of  incendiary  talk  about 
slavery ;  and  warning  me  that  if  I  spoke  it  would  be  at 
my  own  peril!  I  said:  "Gentlemen,  I  come  here  by  the 
invitation  of  two  of  your  citizens ;  but,  with,  or  without, 
such  request,  I  stand  upon  my  constitutional  rights  to  dis- 
cuss any  subject  whatever  that  pleases  me.  Say  to  your 
people,   that   I   shall   address    them   at   the   hour  published, 


1 82  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

at  the  court-house."  So,  bowing,  they  took  their  leave, 
and  I   went  on  washing. 

During  all  the  forenoon  not  a  person  called  to  see 
me,  nor  did  an)  guest  put  up  there.  The  truth  is,  I  was 
as  great  an  object  of  terror  and  avoidance  as  if  I  had 
come  with  cholera  into  the  town. 

The  court-house,  a  fairly  large  brick  building,  was  on 
the  same  straggling  common  with  my  hotel ;  but  it  was 
enclosed  with  a  post-and-rail  fence,  and  surrounded  with  lo- 
cust trees.  The  day  was  warm  and  pleasant ;  and,  hours 
before  the  time  of  speaking,  the  court-house  was  crowded 
to  its  greatest  capacity,  and  many  had  climbed  into  the 
windows  and  filled  many  of  the  nearest  trees,  like  black- 
birds at  roost.  At  the  hour  named,  looking  closely  to  my 
two  revolvers,  and  having  them  carefully  near  the  mouth 
of  my  carpet-bag,  with  my  Bowie-knife  concealed  in  my 
belt,  I  walked  alone  to  the  court-house.  By  this  time  the 
crowd  pressed  to  the  very  gate ;  but,  as  I  entered,  they 
opened  a  lane  as  I  advanced,  no  one  saying  a  word.  The 
same  lane  allowed  me  to  pass  into  the  court-room.  There 
were  three  chairs  on  a  raised  platform,  or  dais,  and  a  small 
balustrade,  a  few  feet  high,  around  these  seats.  Two  of 
the  chairs  were  empty,  but  the  central  one  was  occupied 
by  a  most  remarkable  man.  He  was  a  giant  in  frame, 
about  sixty  years  of  age,  but  then  as  fresh  and  vigorous 
apparently  as  a  man  of  thirty-five  years.  I  thought  to 
myself,  if  you  are  to  be  my  antagonist,  I  shall  have  a 
hard  time  of  it.  The  whole  audience  was  as  still  as  if 
there  had  been  but  myself  there ;  each  looking  excited 
and  pale,  as  men  who  are  on  the  eve  of  action.  I  walked 
steadily  to  the  vacant  seat,  and  sat  down  with  my  carpet- 
sack  by  my  side,  and  began  to  feel  for  my  notes,  which  I 
generally  laid  on  the  stand,  but  rarely  ever  used. 

Wash  (for  such  was  his  name,)  rose  up,  and  said:  "I 
understand  that  this  is  Cash  Clay,"  motioning  his  hand 
toward  me,  without  looking  at  me.  "You  all  know  who 
I   am.     The  boys   who  went  to   Mexico  all  say  that  Clay 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  183 

was  their  friend  in  and  out  of  prison,  standing  by  the 
soldiers,  and  dividing  everything  with  them.  I  had  no 
hand  in  the  public  meeting  held  here.  But  this  I  do  say, 
that  the  man  who  fights  for  the  country  has  a  right  to 
speak  about  the  country.  As  I  said,  you  all  know  who  I 
am.  I  have  lived  here  on  Salt  River  all  my  life.  I  have 
forty  children  and  grand-children,  and  they  are  all  here. 
The  'Salt  River  Tigers'  were  out  in  Mexico;  and  they 
are  here,  too.  Now,  we  will  stand  by  Clay,  or  die ! " 
and  down  he  sat. 

A  great  load  was  lifted  from  my  shoulders.  That  spirit 
of  love  of  country  and  fair  play,  which  I  had  hoped  to 
propitiate  by  going  to  Mexico,  was  now  realized.  I  spoke 
boldly  for  two  hours,  and  there  was  not  an  angry  inter- 
ruption ;  but,  on  the  contrary,  frequent  and  hearty  appre- 
ciation, which  could  not  be  entirely  suppressed.  So  ended 
the  first  anti-slavery  speech. 

When  I  was  invited  to  speak  in  the  Lawrenceburg 
County  Convention,  in  1876,  in  favor  of  Tilden,  the  pro- 
gramme was  broken  twice  —  first  at  the  fair  grounds,  and 
at  night  in  the  town  —  by  enthusiastic  calls  for  myself; 
for  the  speech  of  1849  was  remembered  by  many  in 
1876,  and  several  of  the  Wash  family  were  present,  who 
had  been  at  the  first  public  assembly  of  the  people  on 
my  first  visit.  The  company  of  "Salt  River  Tigers"  is 
kept  up  to  this  day ;  and  they,  too,  were  there. 

In  a  day  or  so,  on  the  same  visit,  I  spoke  at  Taylors- 
ville,  in  Spencer  County.  This  would  fix  my  speech  at 
Lawrenceburg  on  about  the   14th  of  April,   1849.* 

*  From  a  Spencer  County  Journal. 

Mr.  Middleton. — I  presume  the  Secretary  of  the  meeting  has 
transmitted  to  you  the  proceedings  of  the  friends  of  Emancipation 
in  Taylorsville,  on  Saturday,  the  14th.  You  may  be  pleased,  how- 
ever, to  hear,  more  in  detail,  the  effects  of  the  address  of  Captain 
C.  M.  Clay. 

The  opinion,  made  up  from  the  various  reports,  verbal  and  writ- 
ten, is  generally  entertained  that  Captain  Clay  is  an  Abolitionist  in 


184  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

The  efforts  of  the  slave-power  to  change  the  Constitu- 
tion, which  began  in  1835,  had  now  matured  into  a  call 
of  a  Convention  to  take  place  in  1 849-' 50.  By  this  time, 
finding  that  my  political  career  had  ended  in  Fayette,  I 
removed  back  to  my  native  home  in  Madison,  where,  also, 
on  my  return  from  Mexico,  I  had  been  received  with  great 
enthusiasm.  Having  broken  the  ice  at  Lawrenceburg,  this 
Convention  afforded  a  good  field  for  political  discussion. 
The  only  avowed  candidate  on  the  Liberal  side  was  Thom- 
son Burnam,  the  father  of  Curtis  Field  Burnam,  Assistant 
Secretary  of  the  Treasury  under  Grant. 

As  two  delegates  to  the  Convention  were  allowed  to 
our  county,  Squire  Turner,  a  lawyer  of  prominence  at  the 
Richmond  bar,  and  Wm.  Chenault  were  ultimately  nomi- 
nated. I  had  two  objects  in  view ;  first,  to  propagate  my 
opinions,  and  then,  if  the  popular  voice  warranted,  to  be- 
come a  candidate  for  the  Convention  myself.  Whenever 
Turner  spoke  in  public,  I  replied  to  him.  The  large  mass 
of  the  voters  here,  as  elsewhere  in  the  State,  were  non- 
slaveholders,   and    it   was   to   them    that  I   most   appealed. 

the  most  offensive  sense;  and  the  citizens  of  Spencer  sympathized 
with  it.  The  fact  that  the  friends  of  Emancipation  had  invited  him 
to  deliver  a  public  address  on  Slavery,  naturally  produced  a  feeling 
of  surprise ;  and  every  one  went  prepared  to  hear  nothing  but 
bitter  denunciation,  and  wild,  ranting  fanaticism !  But  they  were 
disappointed !  He  denned  his  position,  and  that  of  the  Emancipa- 
tion Party  in  Kentucky ;  and  then  proceeded  to  support  that  posi- 
tion in  a  speech  of  singular  force  and  ability.  For  two  hours  the 
audience  listened  with  profound  attention  to  his  earnest  appeals, 
occasionally  giving  evidence  of  their  gratification  in  murmurs  of 
applause  ;  and,  at  the  close,  a  perfect  round ;  and  then  dispersed, 
satisfied  that  he  was  not  an  incendiary ! 

Great  good  was  done  by  that  speech ;  and  the  gallant  Captain 
left  Taylorsville  with  the  good  wishes  of  many  who  looked  coldly 
upon  him  as  he  entered  it.  The  friends  of  reform  judged  well 
when  they  selected  him  to  plead  their  cause;  and  we  doubt  not 
he  will  find  ample  work  during  the  present  canvass.  C****. 

Taylorsville,  Apiil  16,   1849. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I  85 

Turner  and  I  had  never  been  friends.  Now,  it  was  plain 
to  all  that  I  was  beating  him  in  debate ;  and  that  my  fol- 
lowers were  increasing.  The  slave-power  became  alarmed, 
and  rallied  to  Turner's  support.  Angry  feelings  began  to 
arise,  and  the  debate  to  grow  more  personal.  This  was 
Turner's  policy,  as  mine  was  peace.  At  Tate's  Creek, 
among  his  relations,  he  grew  quite  offensive  in  his  re- 
marks, and  I  replied  in  an  equal  tone  of  defiance.  The 
next  meeting  was  at  Foxtown,  my  immediate  neighbor- 
hood. That  lulled  my  suspicions,  and  I  expected  no  as- 
sault there,  at  least.  So,  though  I  always  went  armed, 
and  had  pistols  in  my  hand-sack,  I  had  only  a  Bowie- 
knife  when  I  spoke.  Turner  opened  the  debate,  as  usual ; 
but  became  extremely  violent.  With  great  animation,  he 
depicted  the  evils  of  agitation  of  the  slavery-question,  and 
was  more  personal  than  usual.  In  response,  I  was  equally 
in  earnest ;  and,  when  interrupted  by  a  young  lawyer, 
named  Runion,  I  denounced  him  as  "Turner's  tool,"  and 
defied  him.  As  soon  as  I  stepped  down  from  the  table 
on  which  I  stood,  Cyrus  Turner,  the  lawyer's  son,  came 
up  to  me,  gave  me  the  lie,  and  struck  me.  I  had  already 
been  told,  calmly,  by  one  of  my  neighbors,  who  was  now 
among  the  conspirators,  that  if  I  did  not  quit  the  discus- 
sion of  the  subject  I  would  be  killed.  So  knowing,  as  in 
Brown's  case,  what  this  meant,  I  at  once  drew  my  knife. 
I  was  immediately  surrounded  by  about  twenty  of  the  con- 
spirators, my  arms  seized,  and  my  knife  wrested  from  me. 
Thinking  it  might  be  a  friendly  intervention  to  prevent 
blood-shed,  I  made  but  little  resistance.  But  I  found  that 
the  loss  of  my  knife  but  subjected  me  to  renewed  attack. 
I  was  struck  with  sticks,  and  finally  stabbed  in  the  right 
side,  just  above  the  lower  rib  —  the  knife  entering  my 
lungs,  and  cutting  apart  my  breast-bone,  which  has  not 
united  to  this  day.  Seeing  I  was  to  be  murdered,  I 
seized  my  Bowie-knife ;  and,  catching  it  by  the  handle 
and  the  blade,  cutting  two  of  my  fingers  to  the  bone,  I 
wrested   it   from   my  opponent,    and  held  it  firmly  for  use. 


1 86  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

The  blood  now  gushed  violently  from  my  side ;  and  I 
felt  the  utmost  indignation.  I  flourished  my  knife,  clear- 
ing the  crowd  nearest  me ;  and  looked  out  for  Turner, 
determining  to  kill  him.  The  way  was  opened,  and  I 
advanced  upon  him,  and  thrust  the  knife  into  his  abdo- 
men, which  meant  death.  At  this  time  my  eldest  son, 
Warfield,  being  about  fourteen  years  old,  had  procured  a 
pistol,  and  handed  it  to  me.  It  was  too  late.  I  was 
feeble  from  the  loss  of  blood ;  and,  crying  out  that  "  I 
died  in  the  defense  of  the  liberties  of  the  people,"  I  was 
borne  to  my  bed  in  the  hotel  by  my  friends.  Turner  was 
also  taken  into  another  room. 

It  turned  out  that  the  conspirators  numbered  over 
twenty ;  and  the  idea  that  I  was  killed,  and  too  many 
around  me,  saved  me.  But  two  persons  besides  my  son 
interfered.  William  and  Wyatt  Wilkerson  rendered  me 
great  service.  William  prevented  Thomas  Turner  from 
shooting  me  in  the  back  of  the  head  with  a  pistol,  which 
he  snapped ;  and  Wyatt  Wilkerson  threw  him  under  the 
table,  where  preparations  had  been  made  for  dinner. 
Wyatt  was  wounded  with  a  knife  in  the  arm.  I  had 
many  friends  present ;  but,  as  is  usual,  they  were  para- 
lyzed by  the  sudden  and  unexpected  attack.  Every  body 
thought  I  would  die,  but  myself.  I  allowed  no  probing  of 
the  wound  ;  and  ordered  nothing  to  be  given  me,  relying 
on  my  vigor  of  constitution,  and  somewhat  upon  my  destiny. 

I  had  never  had  any  intercourse  with  young  Turner. 
He  had  married  the  daughter  of  a  gentleman  whom  I 
much  respected,  and  who  had  been  one  of  the  associates 
of  my  earlier  years.  He  had  evidently  acted  in  obedience 
to  others,  and  had  been  put  forward  by  more  cowardly 
men.  So  I  sent  him  word  that,  as  it  seemed  that  we 
were  rather  driven  by  events  than  any  personal  feeling,  I 
regretted  the  necessity  of  having  given  him  such  a  wound 
(which  I  knew  to  be  fatal),  and  proposed  a  reconciliation. 
This  he  accepted,  and  returned  me  a  friendly  answer  of 
forgiveness.      He  died,  and  I  lived. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY,  1 87 

I  lay  a  long  time,  unable  to  turn  over  in  my  bed ;  and 
to  this  day  I  feel  the  effects,  at  times,  of  these  wounds 
of  the  knife  and  the  stick  upon  the  spine  and  pelvis.  In 
the  meantime,  exaggerated  and  false  statements  of  the 
rencounter  having  been  published,  I  took  occasion  to  pub- 
lish, by  dictation,  a  refutation  of  the  many  falsehoods. 
Dr.  G.  Bailey,  who  had  severely  criticised  my  work  of 
1848,  and  who  was  now  publishing  the  National  Era  at 
Washington  City,  attacked  me  —  I  suppose  because  I  was 
not  killed!  —  at  least,  he  denounced  my  use  of  arms,  be- 
cause I  said  that  I  had  more  efficient  weapons  in  my  sack 
at  the  hotel,  and  wore  only  my  knife. 

And  thus  through  life  I  have  been  between  two  fires  — 
the  Slave-power  on  one  side,  and  the  Abolition  cranks  on 
the  other.  One  of  these  fellows,  of  New  England,  re- 
gretted that  I  had  not  been  killed !  And  such  men  as 
Bailey  seemed  to  hate  me,  either  because  I  was  a  South- 
erner; or  because  I  threw  contempt  upon  a  large  class  of 
his  school,  who  added  cowardice  to  their  false  theory  of 
anti-slavery  action. 

Before  I  arose  again  from  my  bed,  the  election  had 
closed,  and  Turner  and  William  Chenault  were  sent  to 
the  Convention.  Here  was  made  that  infamous  (1850) 
Constitution  which  to  this  day  defies  the  National  organic 
law  —  holding  that  the  right  of  the  slave-holder  to  his 
"slave  and  the  increase"  is  "higher"  than  any  other 
human  or  divine  law ! 

As  I  had  denounced  the  overthrow  of  all  efforts  to 
save  the  common-school  fund  to  the  education  of  the  non- 
slaveholding  whites,  they,  as  a  tub  to  the  whale,  made 
this  fund  thereafter  inviolable ;  and,  by  a  ruinous  and  fatal 
policy,  made,  for  the  same  reason,  the  judiciary  elec- 
tive —  all  this  to  reconcile  the  poor  whites  to  slavery, 
which  they  hoped  to  make  perpetual  by  an  unchangeable 
Constitution,  which  can  never  be  reached  but  by  an  ap- 
peal to  the  original  and  indefeasible  power  of  the  people 
to   make   and  unmake    their    organic    law.      It   is   now   his- 


1 88  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

tory  that  the  Constitutions  of  the  States  and  Federal 
Government  are  no  higher  than  public  opinion ;  and  here, 
as  in  Great  Britain,  the  Public  Will  is  the  Constitution. 

Now,  should  the  Slave  Party  get  into  the  National 
Government,  and,  through  political  action,  or  judicial  de- 
cision, make  the  late  amendments  null  and  void,  the 
slaves  in  Kentucky,  now  free,  could  be  claimed  and  held  by 
their  former  masters ;  and  the  Kentucky  Constitution  would 
sustain  them.  *  Hence,  when  I  attempted,  after  General 
Hancock's  defeat,  in  1880,  to  urge  a  change  of  the  Con- 
stitution of  the  State,  the  Louisville  Cotirier- Journal  re- 
fused me,  in  the  most  decided  manner,  the  use  of  its 
columns  for  discussion ;  and  yet  we  read,  all  through  the 
Democratic  press,  denunciations  of  the  Czar  because  of 
the  suppression  of  the  liberty  of  utterance! 

It  was  in  this  year  I  addressed  the  following  five  let- 
ters to  Hon.  Daniel  Webster,  and  which  were  originally 
published  in  the  National  Era,  at  Washington  City: 

Madison  Co.,  Ky. ,  Marcli  20,   1850. 
Hon.  Daniel  Webster  — 

Dear  Sir:  —  I  have  just  read  your  late  speech  in  the  Senate 
upon  the  slavery  question. 

I  trust  that,  in  making  some  comments  upon  it,  I  will  not  be 
considered  wanting  in  respect  to  yourself.  Humble  as  I  am,  I  am 
too  proud  to  flatter;  yet,  what  I  have  said,  I  say  again,  that  I 
have  always  regarded  you  as  the  largest  intellect  in  the  nation. 
Whatever  you  may  say,  therefore,  is  at  once  a  matter  of  impor- 
tance to  all  the  thinking  men  of  the  Republic.  But,  with  freemen, 
no  man's  opinion  is  aiithority.  And  the  humblest  citizen  may, 
without  the  imputation  of  presumption,  venture  to  differ  even  from 
Daniel  Webster.  But,  such  now  is  not  my  province.  I  come  to 
shelter  myself  under  the  prestige  of  your  great  name ;  hoping 
thereby  to  win  attention  to  truths  which  only  want  a  hearing  for 
their  ultimate  recognition. 

Although  this  speech  is  able,  broad,  and  well  balanced,  it  is 
not  one  which  will  be  proudly  referred  to,  even  by  your  admirers. 
Mere   intellect   can   not  of  itself  constitute   greatness  —  such   great- 

*This  was  written  before  the  last  Presidential  election. — C.    1885. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  1 89 

ness,  at  all  events,  as  men  love  to  cherish.  Whatever  utterance 
fails  to  strengthen  good  purposes,  and  to  widen  the  channels  of 
human  sympathy,  and  to  increase  the  prospects  of  the  ameliora- 
tion of  the  ills  of  humanity,  were  well  not  to  be  uttered  at  all. 

Others,  like  you,  cherish  the  Union  of  these  States.  A  Con- 
stitutional Government  which  protects  us  from  foreign  subjection, 
and  gives  us  a  large  share  of  security  to  life,  liberty,  and  property 
at  home,  is  a  great  thing.  Any  man,  who  should  mount  one 
principle  as  "a  war  horse  to  ride"  it  down,  would  be  as  mad  as 
he  who  would  extinguish  the  sun,  as  you  say,  because  of  its  spots. 
Though  African  slavery  be  a  great  evil  and  wrong,  it  is  not  the 
greatest  evil,  or  the  greatest  wrong,  possible.  For  my  part,  re- 
garding slavery,  as  it  exists  in  America,  as  the  most  atrocious  of 
all  despotisms,  I  yet  prefer  it  —  greatly  prefer  it  —  to  anarchy. 
Any  Government  on  earth  is  better  than  none. 

But  are  we  reduced  to  this  miserable  alternative?  I  trust  we 
are  not.  As  little  manliness  and  reason  as  there  is  left  among 
us,  I  believe  there  is  enough  to  save  us  from  such  a  humiliating 
confession. 

I  was  asked,  in  Cincinnati,  last  winter,  "Would  there  be  a 
dissolution  of  the  Union?"  I  said  no;  the  North  would  recede 
from  her  position;  the  South  would  get  all  she  asked.  That  the 
cry  of  dissolution  would  be  used  to  carry  a  point,  as  boys  muddy 
the  water  to  catch  lobsters?  I  claim  no  great  credit  for  sagacity; 
I  had  seen  the  thing  before! 

The  position  of  affairs  compel  us,  then,  to  look  at  the  Union 
as  it  is,   and  at  its  possible  dissolution. 

As  much  as  the  Union  is  to  be  loved,  it  is  not  to  be  loved 
more  than  a  national  conscience.  If  the  idea,  all  along  held,  that 
slavery,  by  the  terms  of  the  Constitution,  was  to  be  allowed  time 
"to  die  out"  with  decency,  be  ill  founded,  and  the  Constitution 
is  to  be  so  "compromised"  that  slave  and  free  States  shall  re- 
ceive equal  encouragement  and  protection,  and  slavery  and  freedom 
be  equally  extended  forever,  I  prefer  dissolution  to  that ! 

If  the  Constitution  is  to  be  made  vital,  in  the  free  States,  to 
the  returning  a  slave  into  bondage,  but  not  potent  to  protect  a 
freeman  from  slavery  in  the  South,  I  prefer  dissolution  to  that! 
I  say  nothing  of  Lynch  law  and  proscription  upon  natives  of  the 
South,  for  exercising  the  liberty  of  speech,  that  would  not  be 
remedied  by  dissolution. 

If  the  moral  influence  of  our  declaration  of  rights,  our  example 


I90  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

as  a  Republic,  our  personification  of  liberal  opinions,  is  to  be  lost 
to  our  own  self-elation,  and  to  the  "glory  of  mankind,"  and  our 
domestic  and  foreign  policy  is  to  be  made  subservient  to  slave- 
holding  will  and  to  slave-holding  sentiments,  I  prefer  dissolution  to 
that!  If  the  national  spirit  of  the  "compromise"  must  forswear 
justice  and  humanity  forever,  and  bow  down  to  an  altar  consecrated 
to  crime,  where  up-headed  manliness  can  never  venture  with  honor 
to  itself,  or  respect  to  others,  then  give  me  dissolution !  Give  me 
justice  —  give  me  the  true  principles  of  liberty  —  give  me  manli- 
ness—  give  me  trust  in  humanity  —  give  me  faith  in  God, —  and  I 
will  risk  the  reconstruction  of  society,  and  the  reorganization  of 
nations,  —  knowing  well  that  something  better  may  happen,  but  that 
nothing  worse  can  come  than  such  a  union  —  a  body  without  a  soul, 
that  stinks  in  the  nostrils  of  sentiment,  of  reason,  and  of  religion ! 

Whilst,  then,  I  commend  your  submission  to  law ;  your  deter- 
mination to  pass  laws,  in  good  faith,  for  the  return  of  fugitives  from 
service ;  and  your  determination  to  stand  by  the  pledged  faith  of  the 
Government  in  regard  to  the  admission  of  four  more  slave  States 
from  Texas,  if  she  will  it ;  your  fixed  purpose,  in  or  out  of  the  pub- 
lic councils,  to  stand  upon  "the  penalties  of  the  bond," — I  can  not 
but  regret  that  you  did  not  feel  it  your  duty,  as  a  Northern  Senator, 
as  Daniel  Webster,  as  a  man,  to  say  a  word  in  favor  of  freedom, 
which  would  encourage  its  friends,  and  carry  terror  into  the  hearts 
of  its  enemies. 

Twenty  millions  of  men,  spread  from  sea  to  sea!  —  if  there  be 
not  a  man  of  great  soul  among  them,  is  more  a  cause  for  tears 
and  contrition  than  of  triumph  and  laudatory  poetry! 

It  is  a  subject  of  regret,  that  you  did  not  equally  as  decisively 
lay  down  the  platform  of  defense,  where  liberty  is  to  entrench  her- 
self against  the  assaults  of  those  who,  you  confess,  have  moved 
from  the  ground  occupied  at  the  formation  of  the  Constitution,  and 
now  threaten  to  enter,  with  bloody  feet,  upon  consecrated  ground, 
or  to  destroy  the  temple  of  our  common  worship ;  that  you  have 
not  said  for  your  "section"  what  Mr.  Calhoun  has  said  for  his; 
that,  at  all  hazards,  Northern  freemen  shall  remain  so,  even  to  the 
throwing  down  of  the  stone  walls  of  Charleston,  or  New  Orleans ; 
that  free  territory,  by  Mexican  law,  by  American  law,  and  by 
"nature's  law,"  shall  remain  free,  though  Southern  madmen  rage 
in  wordy  war  in  Congress,  or  Quattlebums  march  to  drum  and  fife 
in  the  field ;  that  right  wrongs  no  man,  and  that  manliness  and  fair 
dealing  compel  you  to  say  what  you  intend  to  do,  that  the  North 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  I9I 

• 

and  South  may  learn  that  you  do  homage,  if  not  to  a  "  Wilmot's, " 
at  least  to  "Nature's"  proviso. 

In  my  humble  judgment,  these  issues  have  to  be  met  at  last; 
the  sooner  the  better  for  us,  and  for  all  mankind. 

This  is  no  time  for  "courtly  complaisance."  It  is  not  necessary 
to  go  to  Europe  to  see  a  war  of  extermination  and  despair;  here 
and  now  are  blood  and  crime,  and  a  death  struggle.  Liberty  and 
Slavery  can  not  co-exist !     One  or  the  other  must  triumph  utterly. 

"Where  are  you  to  go?"  You  will  be  allowed  to  take  "no 
fragment  upon  which  to  float  away  from  the  wreck."  The  good 
old  ship,  "Constitutional  Liberty,"  must  be  kept  afloat  (to  continue 
your  metaphor,)  by  strong  arms  and  gallant  hearts,  or  else  the 
piratical  hulk,  "Slavery,"  will  send  you  and  us  where  tyrants  in  all 
ages  have  sent  and  will  send  all  who  submit  not  unqualifiedly  to 
themselves  —  to  the  bottom  ! 

Respectfully,  I  am  your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 

Madison  Co.,  Ky.,  March  23,   1850. 
Hon.  Daniel  Webster  — 

Dear  Sir: — The  opening  of  your  speech,  in  an  artistic  point 
of  view,  is  admirable;  but,  as  I  do  not  propose  to  consider  it  as  a 
rhetorical  effort,  but  to  confine  myself  to  sentiments  and  principles,  I 
must  deny  myself  the  pleasure  of  dwelling  upon  the  force,  trans- 
parency, brevity,  unfrequent  but  startling  imagery,  unity,  logic 
powerful  in  "exhausting"  statement  of  premises,  sarcasm  more 
cutting  from  its  partial  magnanimity,  and  other  marked  peculiarities 
which  characterize  your  utterance. 

"Wise,  moderate,  patriotic,  and  healing  doctrine"  become  not 
only  Senators,  but  all  men.  "Wise,  patriotic,  and  healing"  are 
very  good  words,  at  all  times,  especially  in  troublous  times.  But 
"moderate"  I  have  very  little  respect  for.  What  little  considera- 
tion it  once  had  among  men  has  been  lost  by  its  unfortunate  asso- 
ciations. It  has  not  kept  good  company  for  many  long  years,  to 
my  certain  knowledge.  It  has  so  long  followed  upon  tame-spirited 
men,  that  it  is  now  regarded  as  almost  a  coward ;  and  has  been 
courted  so  much  by  time-serving  divines,  and  office-seeking  poli- 
ticians, who  are  too  yielding  by  half  to  what  may  be  the  popular 
will,  that  its  motives  are  more  than  half  suspected !  For  my  part, 
I  avow  I  hate  the  word  for  its  own  sake.  Like  many  a  "good 
fellow,"  it  is  liberal  out  of  other  people's  pockets  —  forgetting  to  be 


192  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

just  before  being  generous.  The  Southern  man  who  reaps  all  the 
benefits  of  slavery  can  afford  to  be  "moderate."  The  Northern  man 
who  deems  himself  a  millionaire  only  in  consequence  of  slave-grown 
and  slave-growing  cotton  can  afford  to  be  "moderate."  The  divine 
whose  cushioned  pews  are  filled  only  with  slave-holders  can  afford 
to  be  "moderate."  The  politician  who  knows  the  power  of  wealthy 
crime  every-where  is  exceedingly  "moderate"  at  all  times;  but  upon 
this  subject  of  slavery  the  word  does  not  convey  the  idea.  I  do  not 
desire  to  be  offensive ;  I  forbear  a  substitute.  But  what  are  the 
three  millions  of  "peeled  Africans"  to  think  of  the  complacent 
"moderation"  of  these  magnanimous  "compromisers"  of  principle! 
What  are  we,  the  five  millions  of  non-slaveholders  of  the  South,  to 
think  of  these  "moderate"  gentlemen  whose  "courtly  complai- 
sance" subjects  us  to  an  almost  equal  servitude! 

I  beg  of  you,  then,  to  spare  your  admirers  the  pain  of  this  sus- 
picious companion ;  leave  it,  I  pray  you,  to  the  dodgers  of  great, 
but  inconvenient,  questions,  whom  God  in  his  equal  beneficence 
has  given  to  the  poor  and  obscure,  to  reconcile  them  to  their  ap- 
parently hard  lot,  by  showing  what  exquisite  meanness  of  character 
is  sometimes  found  in  the  high  places  of  earth ! 

To  the  graphic  and  brief,  though  comprehensive,  summary  of 
the  causes  which  have  precipitated  the  country  into  the  present 
great  struggle,  I  do  not  particularly  object.  Still,  I  think  that 
you  overrate  your  powers,  as  great  as  they  are,  if  you  suppose 
that  you,  with  the  aid  your  eloquence  can  bring  to  your  stand- 
ard, can  restore  the  country  to  "quiet  and  harmony;"  which  God 
has  made  the  ministering  angels  that  wait  upon  the  good  only, 
and  which  the  determined   perpetrators  of  wrong  can  never  know ! 

I  venture  to  assert,  also,  that  you  have  not  looked  steadily 
into  "the  profoundest  depths"  which  the  storm  discloses.  Yes, 
I  deny  that  there  is,  has  been,  or  ever  can  be,  any  genuine 
"peace,"  until  one  of  the  great  contending  powers  is  reduced  to 
unconditional  submission,  or  death !  The  war  began  with  the  Con- 
stitution ;  or,  rather,  the  war  began  before  the  Constitution  —  which 
is,  at  best,  as  interpreted  now,  but  a  truce,  not  a  treaty,  of  peace. 

Were  it  not  too  serious  a  subject  for  diversion,  I  would  draw 
you  a  picture,  whose  absurdity  would  make  me  a  madman,  were 
not  facts  to  come  to  my  help,  and  place  the  cap  and  bells  upon 
more  illustrious  heads. 

I  imagine  you  and  Mr.  Calhoun  amid  "the  storm;"  and  you 
have  both  laid   hands   upon   that   "fragment  of  a  wreck"  which  is 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 93 

only  large  enough  to  save  one  from  death.  You  are  both  ex- 
hausted by  a  struggle  with  the  raging  elements;  and,  by  lying 
quietly,  your  noses  are  kept  above  water.  Mutual  safety  dictates 
a  truce.  As  your  strength  revives,  you  see  that  one  or  the  other 
must  at  last  master  the  plank.  Mr.  Calhoun  quietly  takes  out  his 
knife  and  cuts  off  one  of  your  fingers.  You  affect  not  to  be  ag- 
grieved, but  in  turn  cut  off  one  of  his  toes!  "Allow  me,  my  dear 
sir,  to  take  off  your  ear,"  says  Mr.  Calhoun;  and  he  suits  the 
action  to  the  word!  "With  your  permission,  brother,"  you  re- 
spond, "I  will  cut  off  your  nose!"  Then  comes  an  arm  —  then  a 
leg  —  and,   at  last,   the  death  struggle! 

Such  is  the  game  of  slavery  and  freedom.  One  or  the  other 
must  die! 

Give  me  Alabama,  says  the  South.  Strengthen  me  with 
Maine,  says  the  North.  Give  me  Florida,  give  me  Louisiana,  give 
me  Texas,  says  Slavery.  Give  me  Ohio,  and  Michigan,  and  Ore- 
gon,  says  Freedom. 

So  far,  they  are  only  taking  breath,  and  preparing  the  knife. 
' '  Now,  give  me  leave  to  cut  off  a  part  of  California  —  a  mere 
finger.     Let  me  sever  from   your  body  New   Mexico ;   it  is  but  an 


arm 


Yes,  sir,  the  parties  have  taken  breath ;  have  long  since  begun 
to  cut!  The  North  was  cut,  when  she  assented  to  a  limited  term 
of  the  slave-trade !  She  was  cut,  when  she  set  five  slaves  in 
equality  of  representation  with  three  Northern  freemen !  She  was 
cut,  when  she  agreed  to  play  Cuban  bloodhound  and  slave-catcher 
for  the  South !  She  was  cut,  when  the  first  new  slave  State  was 
admitted  into  the  Union !  She  was  cut,  yet  deeper,  when,  by  a 
mere  resolution  of  Congress,  in  violation  of  the  treaty-making 
power,  "new"  slave  States  of  Texas  birth  were  agreed  to  be  ad- 
mitted into  the  union !  She  was  cut,  when  her  sons,  for  nearly 
half  a  century,  bowed  down  into  the  very  dust  to  pick  up  the 
scattered  crumbs  which  fell  from  the  table  of  a  slave-holding  Gov- 
ernment !  She  was  cut,  when  the  mail  was  prostituted  to  slave- 
holding  surveillance!  She  was  cut,  when  by  the  "Southern  com- 
mon law"  her  sons  were  hung  for  exercising  the  liberty  of  speech! 
She  was  cut,  when  her  white  citizens  were  imprisoned  for  address- 
ing, through  the  press,  the  whites  of  the  South !  She  was  cut, 
when  she  was  plunged  into  the  slave-hunt  of  Florida!  She  was 
cut,  when  began  the  Executive  war  of  Texas,  for  the  acquisition 
of  slave  territory!      She  was   cut,   yes,   cut  to  the  vitals,   when  the 

Vol.  I.  — 13 


194  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

ambassadors  of  Massachusetts  were  driven,  with  ruffian  force,  from 
the  vindication  of  her  rights  in  the  "glorious  Union"  by  your 
1 '  Southern  brethren  ! ' '  Cut,  sir,  disgracefully  cut !  whilst  a  free 
citizen  of  the  North  lies  for  a  moment  of  time  in  a  prison  of 
Charleston,   or  New  Orleans,   without  crime,   or  without  redress! 

And  at  last,  sir,  when  the  arrogant  and  infamous  demand  is 
made,  to  cut  you  off  from  California  (concerning  which  you  will 
have  something  to  say  hereafter,  when  everybody  else  has  done 
with  saying),  you  are  flatly  told  that  the  truce  is  annulled  —  the 
"Union"  dissolved  —  unless  you  submit  duly  to  that  cutting?  —  no! 
but  to  some  indefinite  cutting,  which  shall  reduce  your  strength  — 
which,  in  spite  of  all  Southern  trimming  of  limbs,  is  likely  to  prove 
an  over-match  for  the  "peculiar  institution." 

I  think,  sir,  your  "moderation"  is  above  all  admiration!  I 
could  have  pardoned  something  like  a  wry  face  —  a  suppressed 
twitch  of  the  muscles  —  an  ill-concealed  groan!  Yes,  sir,  even  a 
lion  might  have  been  moved  to  "roar  you  as  gently,"  at  least, 
"as  any  sucking  dove;"  or  a  god  to  have  hurled  once  more  his 
stolen   "thunder"  recovered! 

Your  historical  review  is  rather  singular.  I  have  given  you 
credit  for  unity,  in  your  orations;  now,  you  have  either  violated 
your  usual  artistic  skill,  or  else  you  stand  as  the  apologist  of 
slavery.  It  is  true  that  the  argument,  that  a  thing  has  always 
existed,  and  therefore  is  right,  seems  exceedingly  silly  to  any  but 
slave-holders.  But  just  as  much  reason  exists  to  justify  murder; 
murder  has  always  been  committed,  and,  therefore,  murder  is  right. 
Such  is  the  argument;  and,  absurd  as  it  is,  it  is  often  used  by 
slave-holders;  and  is  the  best  they  have.  It  is  to  be  regretted 
that  you  so  stated  the  question,  that  you  either  mean  the  same 
thing,  or  mean  nothing ! 

Besides,  it  would  have  been  easy  for  you  to  have  shown  that 
slavery  has,  from  time  immemorial,  been  undergoing  a  process  of 
amelioration  and  final  decay  —  a  doctrine  not  held  speculatively,  but 
based  upon  authentic  history. 

I,  like  you,  have  read  the  proceedings  of  the  Methodist  Church ; 
but  I  rejoice  at  its  division.  I  rejoice  that  there  has  been  found 
true  religion  enough  to  break  through  sectarian  drill.  I  rejoice  that 
the  Christian  Religion  has  been  lustrated,  even  by  a  portion  of  its 
followers,  from  criminal  subservience  to  a  relic  of  barbarism,  which 
the  wild  Indian  had  not  conceived,  and  Mahometans  have  abolished, 
for  "the  honor  of  the  Prophet,  and  the  glory  of  mankind."     I  re- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


195 


joice  at  it,  as  a  shadow  of  future  events,  which  indicate  that  there 
is  a  better  time  near  at  hand  in  Church  and  State.  I  rejoice  that  it 
will  wisely  be  taken  as  a  sign  that  the  time  for  "compromise"  is 
past  forever!     Very  truly,  your  obedient  servant, 

C.  M.  Clay. 

Madison  Co.,  Ky.,  March  25,  1850. 
Hon.  Daniel  Webster  — 

Dear  Sir:  —  Your  reflections  upon  fanatics  are  ingenious,  and, 
in  the  main,  just.  Fanatics,  upon  a  small  scale,  are  especially  an- 
noying. They  interrupt  the  current  of  human  opinions,  without 
turning  the  channel,  or  enlarging  its  bounds.  But  the  evolution  of 
a  "single  idea,"  when  it  lies  at  the  foundations  of  society  and  gov- 
ernment, is  one  of  the  boldest,  most  useful,  and  glorious  of  human 
achievements.  The  great  battles  of  human  freedom  and  true  morals 
have  been  won  by  just  such  men  as  you  describe.  I  need  hardly 
mention  examples.  Take  the  human  life  of  Christ  himself.  He 
was  a  fanatic  to  the  Jews  and  Gentiles.  To  the  Jews  "a  stumbling 
block,"  to  the  Greeks  "foolishness,"  and  to  the  Romans  an  inno- 
vator—  "turning  things  upside  down."  After  all,  the  new  ideas 
which  He  introduced  into  the  world  were  few,  but  of  immense  im- 
portance—  underlying  the  whole  fabric  of  human  society  and  gov- 
ernment. By  a  subtle  analysis  of  the  human  heart,  He  enunciated 
a  rule  of  conduct  which  is  applicable  to  all  possible  emergencies  of 
moral  action :  ' '  Do  unto  others  as  you  would  others  should  do  unto 
you."  The  other  idea  was  the  rejection  of  all  physical  peace- 
offerings  to  God.  The  doctrine  of  material  sacrifice  was  world- 
wide, and  pervaded  all  classes  of  society  —  more  fixed  and  univer- 
sal in  human  opinion,  perhaps,  than  any  other  idea.  This  He  re- 
jected, and  restored  nature  to  herself.  Teaching  that  the  true 
worship  of  God  was  the  perfecting  of  His  greatest  work  —  man. 
Enlighten  the  intellect;  purify  the  soul;  and  beautify  the  body  — 
these  are  the  three  bases  of  all  true  worship  of  God.  And,  if  so, 
our  fanatical  friends,  the  Northern  Abolitionists,  are  not  so  narrow 
in  their  ideas  as  one  may  suppose.  Slavery  is  in  direct  antagonism 
to  the  only  elements  of  human  civilization  and  progress.  Are  not, 
then,  the  great  mass  of  cavillers  at  the  "  one-ideaists "  themselves 
to  be  pitied,  who  can  not  see  their  great  truth!  I  imagine  to 
myself  John  C.  Calhoun  listening  to  your  strictures  upon  fanatics. 
Now  one,  and  then  another,  of  these  "odious  agitators"  pass  in  the 
memory's  review:  first  Hale  and  Giddings ;  and  then,  as  you  dilate 


I96  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

upon  the  subject,  William  L.  Garrison,  the  arch-fanatic,  appears. 
He  enjoys  the  sport ;  you  mend  your  pace ;  he  is  in  ecstacies ;  the 
"fun  grows  fast  and  furious,"  till,  like  Tarn  O'Shanter,  he  can  con- 
tain himself  no  longer — "Well  done,"  he  cries!  ''Quid  rides? 
de  te  fabula  narraturf"  Daniel  Webster  denounces  fanatics! — the 
greatest  of  fanatics  applauds! 

"Impatient  men"  there  are,  no  doubt,  too.  Some  of  them 
have  been  waiting  for  sixty  years,  and  more,  for  slavery  to  ' '  die 
out;"  and  yet  it  seems  as  unwilling  to  give  up  the  ghost  as  it  did 
in  1787!  How  much  longer  must  we  patiently  wait?  How  long 
do  you  think  the  slave-holders  would  have  us  wait?  They  are  pro- 
verbially liberal,  sir;  leave  it  to  them,  and  we  should  be  as  well  off 
as  Sheridan's  creditors!  —  "the  day  after  judgment"  would  be  soon 
enough !  I  do  not  see  the  appositeness  of  your  parallel  between 
the  rise  of  Christianity  and  the  fall  of  Slavery.  Moral  truth  is  one 
thing,  and  political  action  is  another.  We  can  not  compel  belief, 
but  we  can  action.  In  Niblo's  garden,  in  1837,  your  perceptions 
seemed  to  be  somewhat  clearer.  You  would  hardly  have  regarded 
it  as  a  good  reason  for  setting  up  slavery  in  Texas,  where  Mexico 
had  abolished  it,  that  the  Christian  religion  had  been  a  long  time 
in  existence,  and  had  not  yet  subjected  all  the  world ! 

"Impatience,"  if  the  South  was  in  good  faith  making  efforts 
and  sacrifices  to  extinguish  slavery,  would  be  worthy  of  denuncia- 
tion. But,  when  they  are  doing  the  very  opposite,  such  ill-timed 
sympathy  will  hardly  be  set  down,  by  impartial  men,  as  the  fruit 
of  an  enlarged  charity !  And  moral  insensibility  is  worse  than 
fanaticism !  It  may  be  true  that  society,  left  to  itself,  in  all  cases, 
may  right  itself  at  last.  Soil,  by  bad  culture,  may  in  a  single  year 
waste  the  accumulations  of  centuries!  True,  centuries  will  restore 
it ;  but  is  it  the  part  of  wisdom  to  take  the  remedy  instead  of  the 
prevention?  So,  sir,  it  is  with  regard  to  government  and  morals. 
Your  idea,  that  moral  truth  is  not  capable  of  demonstration  as  is 
mathematics,  is  now  admitted  by  the  best  thinkers  to  be  founded 
in  error.  The  method  is  different,  but  the  result  —  certainty — is 
equally  attainable,  though  the  process  be  more  difficult  and  the 
data  more  complicated.  But  what  if  true?  The  standard  of  every 
man's  action  must  be  at  last  what  he  believes  right.  You  seem, 
however,  to  follow  a  learned  magistrate,  such  as  the  great  West 
sometimes  boasts:  "He  was  satisfied,  from  all  the  evidence,  that 
the  complainant  ought  to  gain  his  suit;  but,  out  of  abundance  of 
caution,    he    would    decide    for    the    defendant!"      Your   charity  to- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  1 97 

ward  Southern  Christianity  is  in  part  well  based.  There  are  many, 
very  many,  conscientious  slave-holders ;  but  they  are  the  ' '  weaker 
brethren."  The  leading  minds  among  them  are  as  finished  Jesuits 
and  swindling  hypocrites  as  ever  wore  a  black  gown!  The  regular 
slave-traders  are  infinitely  better  men ! 

The  opinions  of  the  fathers  of  the  Government  were  as  you  say. 
It  was  expected  that  slavery  would  "run  out." 

Sherman  and  Madison  and  others  were  not  willing  to  allow  that 
man  could  have  property  in  man.  Those  who  had  just  made 
solemn  avowals  to  the  world  of  the  right  of  all  men  to  life,  lib- 
erty, and  the  pursuit  of  happiness,  were  ashamed  to  put  the  word 
slavery  in  the  Constitution.  Washington  and  others  looked  forward 
to  an  early  extinction  of  slavery  as  a  fixed  fact.  All,  all  united  in 
denouncing  it  as  an  evil.      Some,  as  a  curse,  a  wrong,  and  a  sin. 

Will  any  man  deny,  from  all  the  evidence  in  the  premises,  that 
it  was  a  part  of  "the  compromise"  that  slavery  was  allowed  time 
merely  to  die  with  decency!  The  Ordinance  of  1787,  prohibiting 
slavery  north  of  the  Ohio,  was  coeval  with  the  Constitution.  The 
time  of  slave-importation  was  limited ;  and  the  institution  itself  was 
denounced. 

Now,  sir,  when  so  much  is  said  about  "good  faith"  and  "com- 
promise," might  not  one  who  comprehended  the  "great  mission" 
of  our  nation  (such  is  the  cant  phrase !)  have  said  to  the  slave  pro- 
pagandists, you  are  at  war  with  nature  —  at  war  with  the  advance 
of  Christianity ;  at  war  with  the  progress  of  civilization ;  at  war  with 
our  avowed  sentiments  and  the  organic  law  of  our  Government ;  at 
war  with  the  spirit  of  the  national  "co-partnership;"  at  war  with 
"the  compromises  of  the  Constitution;"  at  war  with  every  pure 
conscience  —  and  ought  to  be  and  will  be,  "resisted  at  all  hazard"- 
and  to  the  last  extremity!  " 

Pardon  me,  I  think  such  a  declaration  was  to  have  been  ex- 
pected from  you.  Allow  me  to  say,  it  would  have  done  more  even 
to  "preserve  the  Union"  than  all  your  "moderation"  and  all  your 
"charity."  I  refer  you  to  Governor  Hammond  as  my  authority  for 
saying  that  "moderation,"  "charity,"  and  "moral  suasion,"  are, 
with  slave-holders,  synonymous  with  cowardice,  impertinence,  and 
"  nonsense ! " 

The  main  cause  of  the  abandonment  by  the  South  of  the  faith 
of  our  fathers  is,  as  you  state  it,  the  increase  of  the  cotton  crop. 
But  this  cause  has  passed  north  of  Mason  and  Dixon's  line,  and 
produced  a  change  of  tone  in  both  free  and  slave  States. 


I98  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

The  cause  is  one  thing;  the  justification  is  another.  Your  de- 
fense of  the  South  is  characteristic  of  the  legal  profession.  What 
are  truth  and  right  in  the  face  of  one  hundred  millions  of  dollars? 

That  which  was  a  curse,  a  wrong,  and  a  sin,  in  1787,  by  one 
hundred  millions  of  dollars,  in  1850,  is  converted  into  a  blessing,. 
a  right,  and  a  religious  charity. 

As  much  as  I  abhor  slavery,  I  abhor  the  defense  more.  One 
strikes  down  the  liberty  of  the  African ;  the  other,  mine.  One 
enslaves  a  people ;  the  other,  the  human  race.  The  one  avowedly 
prostrates  only  political  rights;  the  other  saps  the  foundations  of 
morals  and  civil  safety,  also.  This  "political  necessity"  is  the 
father  of  murder,  of  robbery,  and  all  religious  and  governmental 
tyranny.  This  is  the  damnable  doctrine  upon  which  was  built  the 
inquisition,  the  star-chamber,  and  the  guillotine. 

No,  sir;  that  which  is  a  fault  in  individuals,  is  a  crime  in  gov- 
ernments. We  can  guard  against  the  danger  of  a  single  assassin, 
but  a  government  is  irresistible  and  immortal  in  its  criminal  in- 
flictions. 

The  doctrine  that  individual  honesty  is  compatible  with  political 
profligacy,  or  that  individual  and  governmental  responsibility  are  dis- 
tinct, is  one  of  the  boldest  sophisms  that  was  ever  allowed  to  linger 
among  the  shallow  falsehoods  of  the  past. 

Retribution  follows  swift  in  the  footsteps  of  crime,  whether  per- 
petrated by  one  or  a  thousand.  "Though  hand  join  to  hand,"  the 
wicked  shall  not  stand.  The  poisoned  chalice  of  slave-holding  pro- 
pagandists is  already  commended  to  their  own  lips.  Their  spirit  of 
aggression  has  awakened  a  like  spirit  of  resistance.  They  would, 
have  Texas;  we  will  have  California!  Yes,  sir;  though  cotton  and 
cotton  mills  perish  forever!  The  unconstitutional  precedent  of  a 
simple  majority  of  both  Houses  taking  in  slave  States,  will  in  turn 
crush  the  political  power  of  the  South  to  atoms.  Then  how  long 
will  her  God-defying  tyranny  stand  before  the  hot  indignation  of  a 
world  in  arms?     Respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.  Clay. 

Madison  Co.,  Ky.,  March  26,   1850. 
Hon.  Daniel  Webster  — 

Dear  Sir:  —  If  it  were  my  purpose,  as  it  is  not,  to  make  out  a 
case  of  inconsistency  against  you,  I  could  show  that  you  once  held 
a  different  idea  in  regard  to  the  validity  of  the  Texas  annexation. 

Two  foreign  States  can  not  become  one,  except  by  treaty;  and 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


199 


the  treaty-making  power  belongs  to  the  President  and  a  two-thirds 
plurality  of  the  Senate.  This  power  was  usurped  by  a  simple  ma- 
jority of  both  Houses  of  Congress,  and  Texas  annexed.  If  the 
Texas  resolutions  had  been  clearly  legal,  I  still  deny  the  power  of 
one  Congress  to  absorb  to  itself  a  power  which  the  Constitution  has 
made  the  right  of  all  Congresses  alike.  And  if  the  difficulty  of 
remedying  an  evil  which  effects  such  large  masses  of  people  forbids 
us  to  expel  Texas  from  the  fraternity  of  States,  neither  sense,  good 
faith,  or  good  morals,  compel  us  to  complete  an  unconstitutional 
and  criminal  agreement.  Such  is  the  doctrine  of  law  and  of  morals. 
Whilst  I,  then,  am  as  fully  impressed  with  the  necessity,  in  govern- 
mental affairs,  to  submit  to  precedent,  and  with  a  conservative  spirit 
to  acquiesce  in  the  national  determination,  I  think  in  excess  of 
"moderation,"  or  in  too  hot  haste  to  take  a  tilt  at  the  Northern 
Democracy,  you  overrun  the  writings  of  "the  bond." 

But  granting,  for  argument's  sake,  that  the  resolutions  of  1845 
are,  first,  constitutional  in  their  inception,  and  next,  binding  abso- 
lutely upon  succeeding  Congresses,  I  take  issue  with  you  in  their 
construction. 

The  resolutions  are,  in  part:  "New  States  of  convenient  size, 
not  exceeding  four  in  number,  in  addition  to  the  said  State  of 
Texas,  and  having  sufficient  population,  may  hereafter,  by  the  con- 
sent of  said  State,  be  formed  out  of  the  territory  thereof,  which 
shall  be  entitled  to  admission  under  the  provisions  of  the  Federal 
Constitution.  And  such  States  as  may  be  formed  out  of  that  por- 
tion of  said  territory  lying  south  of  360  30'  north  latitude,  com- 
monly known  as  the  Missouri  Compromise  line,  shall  be  admitted 
into  the  Union,  with .  or  without  slavery,  as  each  State  asking  ad- 
mission may  desire ;  and  in  such  State  or  States  as  shall  be  formed 
out  of  said  territory  north  of  said  Missouri  Compromise  line,  slavery 
or  involuntary  servitude  (except  for  crime,)  shall  be  prohibited." 

Now,  in  the  face  of  this,  you  have  these  extrordinary  words: 
"And  the  guaranty  is,  that  new  States  shall  be  made  out  of  it; 
and  that  such  States  as  are  formed  out  of  that  portion  of  Texas 
lying  south  of  360  30'  may  come  in  as  slave  States  to  the  number 
of  four,  in  addition  to  the  State  then  in  existence." 

Here,  again,  you  are  ahead  of  "the  bond."  The  most  favor- 
able construction  can  only  give  the  South  three  slave  States;  for  all 
north  of  360  30'  is  prohibited  from  slave  contamination,  and,  of 
course,  can  never  be  a  distinct  Slave  State.  It  must,  therefore, 
become   a   free   State  of  itself,   or,    joined    with   a   part  of  the  soil 


200  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

south  of  36°  30',  be  a  free  State.  In  either  case,  three  slave  States 
can  only  remain.      Here  you  have  not  rightly  "expounded." 

Again,  what  necessity  is  there  to  form  three  slave  States  south 
of  the  line,  and  only  one  north  of  the  line,  more  than  there  is  for 
the  reverse?  Or  why  not  presume  that  two  may  be  made  on  each 
side?  Are  all  inferences,  all  advantages,  to  be  forever  on  the  side 
of  slavery?     Once  more  you  overrun   "the  bond." 

You  are  not  only  wrong  once,  twice,  three  times,  but  radically 
wrong  —  wrong  in  the  premises,  and  in  the  conclusion  —  wrong  in 
spirit  and  in  intellect! 

The  truth  is,  there  is  not  a  shadow  of  obligation  to  admit  new 
States  out  of  Texas  at  all !  unless  one  free  one  north  of  360  30',  in 
order  to  preserve  the  spirit  of  the  Compromise ;  else,  where  is  the 
equivalent  for  the  slave  State  of  Texas  herself? 

Congress,  by  the  resolutions,  only  reserves  to  herself  the  con- 
tingent power  of  breaking  down  the  overgrown  bounds  of  Texas; 
but  imposes  no  obligation  on  herself  to  do  so. 

The  language  is  "may."  Now  "may"  is  always  contingent 
or  conditional.  It  "may,"  or  it  "may"  not.  If  they  may  not  be 
admitted,  why  are  you  so  ready  to  pledge  yourself,  both  now  and 
hereafter,  to  admit  slave  States ! 

If  there  was  any  obligation  on  Congress  to  admit  new  slave 
States,  the  language  would  have  been  "shall."  When  they  come 
to  define  the  character  of  the  States,  if  admitted,  the  conditional 
"may"  is  dropped,  and  the  definite  "shall"  adopted.  This  all 
seems  too  plain  for  dispute.  Precedent  in  ordinary  laws,  as  well 
as  grammar  and  logic,   sustain  me. 

"Congress  may  admit  new  States  into  the  Union."  Is  Con- 
gress here  bound  to  admit  all  new  States  into  the  Union,  which 
may  ask  or  "consent?"  If  so,  how  came  you  to  violate  your 
oath  of  obedience  to  the  Constitution  by  voting  against  Texas? 
I  know  not  which  is  the  most  to  be  deplored,  your  cause,  or  your 
advocacy ! 

Your  denunciation  of  those  Northern  Democrats,  who  betrayed 
the  cause  of  freedom  in  the  Texas  plot,  is  well  deserved.  I  never 
had  much  faith  in  a  death-bed  repentance.  The  hell  of  conscience, 
and  the  damnation  of  all  good  men,  is  theirs  forever!  But  I  can 
not  appreciate  that  judgment  which  condemns  the  repentant  sin- 
ner, and  yet  defends  the  determined  perpetrator  of  the  same 
crime !  For,  after  all,  slavery-extension  can  not  be  whitewashed 
by  any  amount  of  self-interest  in  its  Southern  supporters!     I  trust 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  201 

you  are  not  about  to  institute  a  new  code  of  moral  law,  which, 
like  your  theory  of  slavery,  grades  iniquity  by  the  rise  and  fall  of 
the  mercury  —  so  that  what  is  villainous  in  420  north,  is  most 
reasonable,   and  little  less  than  virtuous,   in  3 2°  farther  south! 

I  can  not  understand  how  you  venture  the  assertion  that 
slavery  can  not,  by  the  "laws  of  nature,"  exist  in  California  and 
New  Mexico!  When,  in  point  of  fact,  slavery,  "in  the  gross," 
previous  to  the  confirmatory  act  of  1836,  did  exist  in  those  very 
provinces;  and   "peonism"  exists  there  now! 

Nor  can  "peonism,"  or  the  cheapness  of  labor  there,  prevent 
the  existence  of  slavery. 

African  slavery  can  only  be  rendered  "unprofitable"  to  the 
individual  slave-holder,  where  a  more  intelligent  and  equally  active 
and  muscular  race  is  reduced  to  the  necessity  of  underworking  the 
slave  —  that  is,  by  doing  more  work,  or  better,  for  the  same  wages, 
food,  shelter,  and  clothing.  That  stage  of  depression  of  labor  is 
many  centuries  off  in  California  and  New  Mexico.  Now,  cheap 
labor  (for  it  has  ceased  already  in  California,)  in  New  Mexico, 
arises  from  the  case  of  living  in  a  sunny  climate,  among  an  indo- 
lent and  primitive  people  —  the  very  case  most  favorable  for 
slavery.  Where  a  harsh  climate,  or  sterile  soil,  require  all  the 
efforts  of  a  man  to  live  in  the  simplest  manner,  there  slavery  can 
not  live.  But  where  a  man  may  support  himself  with  nine  hours' 
labor,  and  three  may  go  to  the  profit  of  the  master,  there  slavery 
may  be  "profitable."  A  good  soil  may  be  in  a  very  cold  climate; 
and  there  may  slavery  go.  A  fair  climate  may  have  a  very  poor 
soil;  and  even  there,  also,  may  slavery  go.  But  I  understand  that 
these  provinces  have  both  good  soil  and  climate;  then,  by  all  that 
is  sacred  in  absurdity,  why  may  not  slavery  go  there?  Where  is 
your   "law  of  Nature?" 

The  South  says  she  only  "wants  time  to  get  in;"  and,  what- 
ever else  the  South  may  do,  she  never  stultifies  herself!  Slavery 
is  her  only  God  —  she  never  affected  to  know  or  care  anything 
about  the   "law  of  Nature!" 

In  arguing  the  "profitableness"  of  slavery,  simply  in  a  pecuni- 
ary point  of  view,  I  confine  myself  to  the  individual  masters.  The 
aggregate  population  is  always  injured,  the  total  wealth  always  less, 
by  slavery!  Unlike  in  the  old  fable,  the  belly  grows,  but  the  mem- 
bers perish;  when  they  can  no  longer   "give,"  the  belly  also  dies! 

Those  who  wait  for  slavery  "to  cure  itself" — "to  die  out  in 
the  natural  way" — wait  for  the  ruin  of  the  State.      Like  the  silly 


202  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

farmer,   who  trusted  to  the   sheep   to  kill  the  briers,   they  will  find 
at  last  the  briers  dead,   and  the  sheep  also! 

Your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 

Madison  Co.,  Ky.,  April  3,   1850. 
Hon.  Daniel  Webster  — 

Dear  Sir:  —  I  think  I  showed,  in  my  last  letter,  that  slavery 
is  very  slightly,  if  at  all,  affected  by  climate  or  soil.  The  history 
of  the  world  confirms  the  reasoning.  It  is  enough  to  say  that  the 
worst  grade  of  serfdom  now  exists  in  "the  everlasting  snows"  of 
Siberian  Russia.  I  stated  that,  so  far  from  nature's  law  having 
forbid  slavery  in  Mexico  and  California,  they  were,  of  all  the 
countries  in  the  world,  most  suited  to  slavery.  The  "Asiatic 
features"  of  the  country,  I  thought,  were  the  best  for  slavery,  as 
Asia  has  ever  been  fuller  of  despotism  than  Europe.  Nothing 
struck  me  with  so  much  force,  in  passing  through  Mexico,  as  the 
fact  that  the  physical  features  of  the  country  warred  against  a 
middle  class  of  small  landholders,  who  are  the  best  depositaries 
of  freedom.  The  very  necessity  of  irrigation  requires  large  capital 
and  a  single  ownership.  Hence,  the  tendency  is  toward  master 
and  slave,  or  landlord  and  tenant,  almost  inevitably  —  the  most 
unfavorable  case  for  free  institutions.  But  if  the  tillable  land  in- 
vites to  slavery,  equally  so  do  the  barren  hills,  whose  only  wealth 
is  mineral  mines.  Surely,  if  any  business  would  make  slave-labor 
profitable  in  the  world,  mining  is  that  business.  And  yet,  in  the 
face  of  these  facts,  you  obstinately  insist  that  the  law  of  God  for- 
bids slavery  there!  Once  more,  your  reasoning  is  as  bad  as  your 
facts!  You  "will  not  reenact  the  law  of  God!"  I  belong-  to  that 
fanatical  class  who  believe  that  the  business  of  law-makers  is  to 
reenact  the  laws  of  God  and  Nature,  and  nothing  else.  Pray,  sir, 
if  that  sort  of  law  is  not  to  be  reenacted,  what  sort  is?  Only 
those  which  are  at  war  with  God  and  Nature?  If  there  are  any 
"gentlemen,"  North  or  South,  whose  sensibilities  are  likely  to  be 
wounded  by  the  reenactment  of  the  laws  of  God  or  Nature,  those 
I  would  take  care  to  wound;  because  they  would  deserve  to  be 
wounded,  as  all  crime  deserves  punishment!  I  understand,  then, 
that  the  substance  of  all  this  is,  that  you  refuse  to  reclaim  your 
stolen  "thunder!"  You  back  out  from  the  Wilmot  Proviso!  You 
speak  of  some  men  who,  when  they  change  themselves,  contend 
that  the  world  around    had    changed!     These    are   the  shallow  sub- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  203 

terfuges  of  weak  minds.  Not  so  with  the  heroic  genius!  With 
him,  history  has  changed !  its  valleys  have  changed !  its  hills  are 
not  the  same!  "A  plague  on  all  cowards,  say  I."  "Is  there  no 
virtue  extant?"  "I  will  not  give  you  a  reason  upon  compul- 
sion"—  "I  will  not  reenact  the  law  of  God!" 

You  are  quite  happy  in  your  vindication  of  the  South  from 
Northern  aggression.  But  I  look  in  vain  to  find  a  word  of  com- 
plaint on  the  part  of  the  North  against  the  South.  At  this,  I 
am  not  surprised.  The  North  has  proven  herself  quite  tame  in 
her  submission  to  insults  and  to  blows!  I  have  already  attended 
to  this;  I  shall  not  go  over  the  same  ground. 

I  suppose  the  large  class  of  merchants  and  manufacturers  of 
Massachusetts,  whom  you  represent,  applaud  your  course.  The 
point  of  honor  with  them  is,  to  "put  money  in  their  purse!" 
Nobody  expected  them  to  show  any  spirit  of  manliness  —  any  re- 
sistance to  wrong  —  any  demand  for  rights! 

But  Massachusetts  has  not  "lost  the  breed  of  noble  bloods." 
There  is  a  remnant  of  the  old  Puritan  stock,  who  do  not  worship 
only  the  belly !  —  men  who  put  principle  before  gold  —  men  who 
rightly  comprehend  the  rights  of  man,  and  have  the  iron  will  and 
the  indestructible  energy  to  achieve  their  final  vindication ! 

It  had  been  well  if  you  had  passed  them  in  silence.  It  were 
well  for  Daniel  Webster,  even,  that,  neither  now  nor  hereafter,  the 
comparison  should  be  drawn  between  him  and  them !  Such  men 
as  Garrison  and  Mann,  and  Phillips  and  Adams,  and  a  host  of 
others,  need  no  apologetic  commiseration  from  any  one!  History 
will  vindicate  them  from  the  censures  even  of  Daniel  Webster! 
Certainly  I  shall  not  become  their  defender.  Speculation  is  one 
thing  —  fact  another.  I  have  not  undertaken  to  say  who  has  done 
the  good;  but  I  take  issue  with  you  about  the  existence  of  it. 
So  far  from  the  condition  of  the  slave  having  been  made  worse 
since  1835,  the  period  which  Mr.  Calhoun  lays  down  as  the  be- 
ginning of  Abolition  agitation,  the  condition  of  the  slave  in  the 
South  has  steadily  improved.  They  are  now  better  clothed,  better 
fed,  better  housed,  and  better  treated  in  all  respects.  Every 
traveler  confirms  this  statement  of  one  who  lives  among  slaves. 
As  you  pass  along  the  extreme  Southern  Mississippi,  you  see 
long  rows  of  comfortable  cottages,  which  bear  unmistakable  evi- 
dence, from  their  newness,  of  having  been  built  since  the  period 
of  "agitation!"  You  ask,  if  persons  can  now  talk  and  write 
in  Virginia,  as  in  1832,  upon  the  subject  of  slavery?     Yes.      Never 


204  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

before,  in  any  period  of  our  history,  were  the  press  and  the 
stump  so  free  to  slave  discussion  as  now.  Look,  sir,  at  the  Na- 
tional Era;  would  it  have  been  tolerated  in  1832?  No,  sir.  The 
southern  people  are  not  as  base  as  your  argument  would  make 
them.  They  have  not  passed  that  last  round  in  the  descent  to 
crime  and  infamy,  where  insensibility  to  shame  and  public  denun- 
ciation stupifies  the  villain!  Their  whole  effort  is,  very  naturally, 
to  make  slavery  just  as  tolerable  as  slavery  can  be  made,  con- 
sistent with  its  permanence.  But  the  same  causes  which  tend 
to  its  amelioration,  will  accomplish  its  abolition  at  last!  If  laws 
can  not  long  be  better  than  public  opinion  —  so  they  can  not 
long  be  worse  than  public  opinion.  When  slavery  comes  under 
the  ban  of  a  wide-spread  public  opinion,  it  will  perish,  in  spite 
of  obsolete  laws  and  paper  constitutions! 

Complaisance,  charity,  compromise,  sir,  are  the  supports  of 
slavery!  "Easy  virtue,"  in  Church  and  State,  consummates  the 
ruin  of  political  morals,  debauches  the  Nation,  and  makes  slavery 
a  very  tolerable  thing!  —  a  "patriarchal  institution!"  The  praises 
of  the  Southern  press  ought  to  remind  you  of  a  certain  wise 
man  of  antiquity,  "Titinius  applauds — I  've  said  a  foolish  thing!" 
There  is  much  to  approve  in  what  you  say  of  disunion. 

The  liberty  of  the  white  race,  who  are  the  majority,  is  not 
to  be  jeoparded  for  any  contingent  possibility  of  thereby  freeing 
the  black  race.  Far  less  is  the  Union  to  be  dissolved  for  the 
purpose  of  maintaining  slavery.  Three  hundred  thousand  slave- 
holders are  not  the  South ;  as  they  will  find  out,  when  they 
choose  to  put  the  fearful  issue — "Slavery  or  Disunion!"  W. 
H.  Seward,  nearly  right  in  all  his  speech,  is  surely  right  in  this, 
that  the  slave-holders  are  the  last  to  seek  disunion!  It  is  Bully- 
ism  and  Braggartism,  and  nothing  else !  They  knew  the  tame- 
ness  of  the  North,  and  calculated  upon  it,  and  succeeded !  I  do 
not,  therefore,  feel  the  eloquence  of  your  speech  just  here  —  it 
seems  but  "mock-tragedy"  at  best! 

With  sorrow  be  it  said,  that  even  your  virtues  lean  to  vice's 
side!  The  proposition  to  appropriate  money  for  the  colonization 
of  the  free  blacks  should,  when  carried  into  a  law,  be  entitled 
"a  bill  for  the  encouragement  of  crime!"  I  am  a  Colonizationist, 
because  I  think  a  free,  educated  black  colony  will,  perhaps,  civil- 
ize Africa.  But  colonization,  with  a  view  merely  of  getting  clear 
of  a  free  colored  class,  who  are  "a  thorn  in  the  King's  side," 
has  none  of  my  sympathy! 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  205 

If  you  had  said  to  the  South,  give  us  the  liberty  of  all  your 
bondmen,  and  we  will  give  you  all  our  public  revenue  beyond 
the  actual  necessities  of  Government,  even  with  colonization,  you 
would  have  said  a  great,  a  good,  and  a  sensible  thing.  I  wish 
for  your  own  sake,  much,  and  yet  more,  for  the  sake  of  the 
Union,  and  of  humanity  at  large,  that  you  had  nerved  yourself 
to  paint  slavery  as  none  but  you  could  have  painted  it;  and  then 
have  come  forward  in  good  earnest  with  a  proffer  of  the  proceeds 
of  the  public  lands,  and  all  other  available  means,  to  assist  in  its 
final  eradication !  It  is  a  source  of  regret  to  all  lovers  of  Amer- 
ican genius,  that  you  did  not  prove  as  gloriously  great,  as  you 
are  unquestionably  talented !  That  your  aspirations  were  not  for 
a  country  just,  as  well  as  "wide-spread"  and  powerful  —  an  altar, 
where  the  soul  could  pour  out  its  love,  and  prayers,  as  well  as 
its  admiration — "Liberty  and  Union  —  one,  and  inseperable,  now, 
and  forever! " 

I  have  freely  spoken,  as  an  advocate  of  liberty,  not  as  your 
enemy.  I  shall  not  be  of  those  who  wish  to  put  you  down,  or 
see  you  put  down !  I  trust  you  may  long  live,  and  long  be  in 
the  councils  of  the  Nation  —  more  earnestly  and  faithfully  to  use, 
for  the  good  of  the  Nation  and  humanity,  those  great  powers  with 
which  Nature  has  so  signally  marked  you. 

Believe  me,  truly  and  respectfully,  your  most  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 


CHAPTER   XI. 


"Liberty  of  Speech"  vindicated. — I  separate  from  the  Whigs.  —  Anti- 
Slavery  Women  :  Harriet  Beecher  Stowe  ;  Evelyn  Woodson  ;  Lucretia 
Mott. — The  prejudice  of  Color.  —  Letter  from  the  Ladies  of  the  Ash- 
tabula County  (Ohio)  Anti-Slavery  Society.  —  Overthrow  of  the  Whig 
Party. — Canvass  for  Governor  of  Kentucky  in  1851. — Berea  College. — 
John  J.  Crittenden. — John  C.  Breckinridge  and  Robert  P.  Letcher. — 
I  save  the  Life  of  William  Willis. — W.  C.  P.  Breckinridge. 


SO  far  the  slave-power  was  triumphant.  They  had  ad- 
mitted Texas,  contrary  to  the  Constitution,  and  car- 
ried on  a  successful  war  for  slave  territory.  In  Kentucky 
they  had  made  the  slave  clause  perpetual. 

On  my  return  from  Mexico,  I  sued  James  B.  Clay, 
son  of  Henry  Clay,  as  the  Secretary  and  most  noted  of 
the  Committee  of  Sixty,  who  removed  my  press  to  Cin- 
cinnati, and,  in  a  Jessamine  County  Court,  got  $2,500 
damages  against  him.  So  the  freedom  of  the  press  was 
vindicated. 

And  now,  although  I  had  been  struck  down  by  vio- 
lence, and  the  liberty  of  speech  was  temporarily  ever- 
thrown,  so  soon  as  I  arose  again  from  my  bed,  and  was 
restored  to  health,  I  went  steadily  on  with  my  work. 
After  I  had  voted  for  Taylor,  I  separated  from  the  Whigs. 

Among  the  prime  factors  in  the  overthrow  of  the  slave- 
power,  were  many  of  the  most  intellectual,  refined,  and 
lovely  women  of  America.  Among  these,  although  Mrs. 
Harriet  Beecher  Stowe  holds  the  first  place  for  ability  and 
effective  service,  as  the  author  of  "  Uncle  Tom's  Cabin," 
1  must  award  the   noblest   in   heroism  to  my  native  State. 

About  the  time  that  Dr.  Horace  Holley,  the  President 
of  Transylvania  University,  attracted  many  distinguished 
strangers  to  Lexington,  a  wealthy  and  refined  Englishman 
206 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  20J 

established  himself  on  a  fine  blue-grass  estate  in  Jessamine 
County,  Kentucky.  His  landscape-grounds  were  elabo- 
rately laid  out,  and  highly  cultivated ;  and  became  one 
of  the  "Lions"  of  central  Kentucky.  Here  he  entertained 
lavishly  and  hospitably  persons  of  distinction  who  visited 
the  blue-grass  capital.  To  this  English  family,  Evelyn 
Meade  was  born  —  an  intelligent,  lovely,  and  heroic 
woman,  who  married  Tucker  Woodson,  an  eminent  lawyer 
and  politician  of  high  social  position.  When  the  men  of 
anti-slavery  views  cowered  under  the  despotism  of  the 
slave-power,  Mrs.  Woodson  became  the  avowed  advocate 
of  liberation ;  and  remained,  through  good  and  evil  report, 
my  friend  till  her  death.  Such  a  woman  is  an  honor  to 
the  sex,  and  deserves  immortal  honor  from  all  lovers  of 
the  liberties  of  men. 

Lucretia  Mott  deserves  signal  mention  for  her  long  and 
efficient  services  in  the  cause  of  the  slave.  She  was  born 
in  1793,  of  Friend's  (Quaker)  parentage;  and  early  took 
ground  against  slavery,  in  common  with  the  general  tenets 
of  those  Christians.  She  was  the  organizer  of  the  Amer- 
ican Anti-Slavery  branch  of  that  Society  in  Philadelphia ; 
opposed  the  use  of  slave-grown  products ;  and,  as  a 
preacher  of  the  Society  of  Friends,  denounced  slavery  in 
Pennsylvania,  Maryland,  and  Virginia.  She  was  ever  the 
friend  of  the  slave  in  all  her  various  relations  in  life. 

On  a  visit  to  Mrs.  Mott,  after  I  began  the  anti-slavery 
war,  I  was  handsomely  entertained  at  a  dinner  at  her 
home,  where  the  leading  anti-slavery  men  and  women  of 
Philadelphia  were  present.  The  Friends,  of  Philadelphia, 
in  a  genial  climate,  and  by  the  purity  of  their  lives,  were 
noted  for  their  beauty  of  body  and  soul.  At  this  dinner, 
also,  Edward  Purvis,  a  half-breed  white  and  African,  was 
present.  His  father  was  a  ship-carpenter,  and  accumulated 
a  large  property.  His  son  was  well  educated  at  home  and 
abroad,  and  would  have  been  regarded  as  a  refined  gen- 
tleman in  any  country.  He  sat  opposite  me  at  dinner,  and 
by  the  side  of  one  of  the  most  lovely  girls  present. 


208  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

This  was  the  first  time  in  my  life  that  I  had  ever  sat 
at  table  with  a  mulatto  on  terms  of  equality.  Notwith- 
standing my  advanced  ideas  in  the  direction  of  liberalism, 
I  felt  the  greatest  shock  at  this  new  relation  of  the  races 
and  the  sexes ;  so  that  I  imagine  it  must  have  been  ob- 
served by  all.  After  dinner,  Purvis,  with  the  address  which 
comes  of  intercourse  in  many  countries,  sought  me,  and 
commenced  a  very  agreeable  conversation,  till  my  preju- 
dices were  well  nigh  conquered.  He  said,  on  his  return 
from  Europe  once,  on  the  same  vessel  was  a  South  Caro- 
lina family,  including  wife  and  daughters.  They  denounced 
negro-equality ;  but,  taking  Purvis  for  a  Spaniard,  or  Ital- 
ian, they  danced  with  him  —  never  suspecting  his  lineage. 
Such  is  the  force  of  habit  and  prejudice. 

In  Europe  I  saw  several  cases  of  marriage  between  the 
races ;  and  no  one  thought  anything  of  it.  But,  after  all, 
I  have  never  thought  that  such  alliances  between  whites 
and  blacks  as  involve  progeny  should  be  encouraged ; 
though  no  law  should  prohibit  it. 

But  I  have  no  room  for  the  discussion  of  the  subject 
here.  There  are  physical  differences  in  structure ;  and 
the  prejudice  of  slavery  will  last  in  this  country  for  cen- 
turies. 

In  my  home,  my  white  employes  refuse  to  sit  at  table 
with  blacks ;  but  do  not  object  to  wait  upon  them  civilly 
when  they  dine  with  me  at  times. 

Among  the  liberal  women  whom  I  have  known,  person- 
ally, may  be  mentioned  Julia  Ward  Howe,  Lucy  Stone 
Blackwell,  Susan  B.  Anthony,  Jane  G.  Swishelm,  Margaret 
Fuller,  Anne  C.  Lynch,  A.  B.  Adams  of  Quincy,  E.  Oakes 
Smith,  S.  B.  McLean  (wife  of  Judge  John  McLean),  C. 
M.  Sedgewick,  Jessie  B.  Fremont,  M.  W.  Chapman,  Eliza 
L.  Follen,  Catharine  (Ware)  Warfield,  and  Elizabeth  Cady 
Stanton,  as  the  most  distinguished ;  though  I  could  fill 
a  long  list  of  names  of  nearly  equal  celebrity.  Most  of 
these  women,  after  the  overthrow  of  slavery,  went  into 
the   Womans'   Rights    movement,    where    I    have   not  been 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


209 


able  to  follow  them.     But  their  ability,  purity  of  soul,  and 
philanthropy  can  not  be  questioned. 

On  another  occasion,  at  a  dinner  party  of  the  aristo- 
cratic blacks,  quite  other  sentiments  were  aroused.  When 
wine  was  served,  with  great  formality,  one  of  the  party, 
in  a  very  grave  manner,  said:  "Ladies  and  gentlemen, 
please  fill  up  your  glasses;  let  us  drink  to  the  health  of 
Cassius  M.  Clay  —  Liberator.  Though  he  has  a  white 
skin,  he  has  a  very  black  heart." 

This  complimentary  toast,  coming  from  a  gentleman  of 
the  darkest  hue,  was  well  received;  but  to  the  whites  pres-. 
ent  it  was,  of  course,  very  provocative  of  a  laugh,  which 
was  with  difficulty  suppressed.  A  friend  of  mine,  J.  R. 
Johnston,  who  had  a  keen  appreciation  of  the  ludicrous, 
being  present,  barely  maintained  his  equanimity;  but  great 
tear-drops  stood  in  his  eyes. 

Letter  from,  the  Ladies  of  the  Ashtabula  County  {Ohio,)  Anti-Slaveiy 

Society. 

Austinburg,  December  9.    1845. 
Cassius  M.   Clay,   Esq.  — 

Honored  Sir:  —  From  a  distant  corner  of  a  State  bordering 
on  your  own,  we,  the  wives,  daughters,  and  mothers  of  Ashtabula 
County,  tender  you  the  humble  but  heartfelt  boon  of  our  grateful 
sympathy.  We  have  not  been  heartless  spectators  in  this  our 
country's  struggle  for  liberty.  Though  our  hands  have  been  too 
idle,  and  our  hearts  too  unbelieving,  we  have  not  carelessly  viewed 
the  strife.  While  our  fathers,  husbands,  and  brothers  are  rousing 
at  the  warning  call,  we,  from  our  homes  and  from  our  firesides, 
hail  yoit  as  the  champion  of  our  country's  liberty.  It  needed  the 
blow  which  has  lately  fallen  upon  you,  to  engrave  on  the  hearts 
of  the  North  the  bitterness  of  slavery's  injustice  and  intolerance  — 
to  rouse  the  lukewarm  patriot  into  action.  We  have  watched  too 
long  your  disinterested  course,  to  doubt  that  all  the  insults  that 
were  heaped  upon  your  head,  when  it  lay  burning  upon  the  fever- 
ish bed,  have  been  compensated  to  your  soul  by  the  universal  rush 
of  indignation  —  of  sympathy  for  all  victims  of  the  slave-holder  — 
that  burst  from  the  free  heart  of  the  North  against  the  authors  of 
your  misfortune  —  against  the  bulwarks  of  slavery. 
Vol.  I.  — 14 


2IO  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

We  offer  not  the  poor  boon  of  pity  to  one  whose  spirit  soars 
far  above  it  —  but,  from  the  depths  of  our  aroused  and  feeling 
hearts,  we  bid  you  "God-speed"  on  your  way.  Yes;  and  not 
merely  for  ourselves  can  we  speak:  Ohio's  sympathies  are  with 
you,  and  more  than  hers.  We  but  echo  the  united  voice  of  the 
United  Northern  States,  when  we  again  bid  you  "God-speed"  on 
your  way. 

The  struggle  in  which  you  are  engaged  is  emphatically  the 
strife  between  Liberty  and  Slavery.  No  corresponding  movement 
in  the  cause  of  anti-slavery  is  marked  on  our  country's  page. 
Many  a  hand  has  been  raised  for  its  sake,  and  many  a  tongue 
has  been  eloquent  in  its  behalf;  but  the  friends  of  the  slave,  for- 
getting that  "Union  is  strength,"  have  heretofore  been  unable  or 
unwilling  to  meet  upon  common  ground.  Rival  parties  and  rival 
societies  have  sadly  weakened  the  arm  which  might  otherwise  have 
wielded  ere  now  the  conqueror's  sword.  The  serpent  of  political 
party  strife  has  crept  in  to  sting  the  heart  of  freedom's  champion. 
But  we  hail  yoti  as  the  bond  of  Union  —  the  connecting  link  around 
which  all  may  once  more  center. 

The  heart  of  every  Abolitionist  of  every  stripe  is  with  you  — 
from  Garrison,  with  disunion  on  his  lips,  to  the  dumb-mouthed 
foe  of  slavery,  who  would  shrink  from  the  very  idea  of  giving 
utterance  to  his  own  deep  sentiments;  aye,  and  many  an  one,  too, 
who  would  spurn  the  name  of  "Abolitionist."  We  would  not 
pluck  a  single  star  from  the  crowns  of  the  pioneers  in  this  glorious 
work  —  a  Garrison,  a  Birney,  a  Tappan,  and  numerous  others  — 
men  who  "shrunk  not  from  the  brunt  of  the  battle's  front;"  whose 
names  stand  nobly  engraven  on  the  foundation  stones  of  Freedom's 
Temple.  But  we  thank  heaven  for  a  banner  —  a  leader,  under 
which  Abolitionists  are  disposed  once  more  to  unite;  and  we  trem- 
ble when  we  think  of  the  precarious  situation  of  that  leader.  Rest 
assured  that  our  prayers  for  your  safety  shall  daily  rise  to  Him  who 
holdeth  Nations  as  "the  rivers  of  waters  in  His  hand;"  and  while 
our  hopes  are  centered  on  you,  our  hands  shall  not  be  idle. 

"When  woman's  heart  is  bleeding, 
Should  woman's  voice  be  hushed?" 

It  is  a  disgrace  to  our  country  that  the  Anti-Slavery  Society,  in 
which  our  names  now  stand  enrolled,  did  not,  years  ago,  arise  to 
add  its  mite  to  the  common  cause  of  humanity;  but  we  have  now 
enlisted,   "heart  and  hand,"  in  the  cause;  and  if  we  but  pour  one 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  211 

drop  into  the  swelling  tide  that  begins  to  sweep  resistlessly  toward 
"Mason  and  Dixon's  line"  —  if  we  but  send  back  a  cheer  on  the 
breeze  that  comes  to  us  laden  with  the  sighs  of  the  oppressed  —  we 
shall  not  have  labored  in  vain. 

And  now  our  wish,  our  prayer,  our  trusting  hope  for  you  shall 
be,  that  the  One  that  nerved  the  youthful  arm  of  him  whose  simple 
sling  overthrew  Philistia's  champion,  may  strengthen  with  a  more 
than  human  power  your  arm  in  this  struggle  against  that  giant 
whose  proud  menace  comes  daily  booming  in  the  ears  of  liberty's 
defenders  —  the  giant  of  slavery.  We  bid  you  onward  —  unshrink- 
ing—  undeterred;  and  we  know,  too,  that  our  voice  is  unneeded 
here.  But,  as  the  mothers  and  daughters  of  "'76"  cheered  on 
their  dearest  friends  to  deadly  strife,  though  their  heroes  were  of 
sternest  mould,  we  cheer  the  hero  of  a  severer,  though  a  bloodless 
strife,  with  as  true  and  as  warm  acclamations  as  those. 

We  bid  you  farewell  with  fear,  and  with  hope.  Accept  this 
tribute  from  grateful  hearts  that  are  bound  to  yours  by  an  indis- 
soluble bond  —  the  chain  of  liberty  —  the  chain  of  human  hearts 
that  are  waiting  with  you  the  dawning  of  Emancipation's  star,  and 
waiting  with  trembling  anxiety  its  rise  upon  the  heavens  of  America. 

By  the  unanimous  vote  of  the  Society. 

Betsey  M.  Cowles,  Secretary. 

It  need  hardly  be  mentioned  that  I  was  never  indicted 
by  the  grand-jury  for  killing  Turner;  although  the  powers 
in  authority  were  so  desirous  of  my  death.  The  conspiracy 
to  murder  me  was  too  plain  to  everybody  for  any  pretense 
of  that  sort;  and  I  stand  justified  in  the  opinion  of  men, 
and,  what  is  better,  in  my  own  conscience,  for  the  exer- 
cise of  the  eternal  law  of  self-defense  —  Dr.  G.  Bailey 
to  the  contrary,  notwithstanding.  Nor  were  the  conspira- 
tors indicted  or  punished   for  stabbing  with  intent  to  kill. 

When  John  Brown  went  down  into  Virginia  and  fool- 
ishly lost  his  life,  he  became  a  hero  with  the  long-haired 
Abolitionists ;  but  when  I  fell  in  the  defense  of  freedom 
of  speech  and  the  liberties  of  all  men,  these  fellows  shed 
tears,  not  because  I  triumphed,  but  because  I  used  arms 
and  was  not  killed !  And  the  same  idea  was  held  by  Bis- 
mark's  paid  historian,  Von  Hoist.  If  I  had  been  killed 
by  the  mob  at  Lexington,   I  would   have  held  a  prime  po- 


212  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

sition  in  the  world's  eye ;  but,  as  I  was  wise  enough  to 
live,  and  to  cause  slavery  to  die,  he  consigns  me  to  the 
place  of  a  foot-note !  For  the  tyrants  of  Europe  hate 
me  as  much  as  the  tyrants  of  America. 

Now,  my  attack  was  mostly  on  the  Whig  Party  —  bent 
on  its  ruin ;  for,  in  our  State,  it  comprised  a  large  majority 
of  the  slave-holders,  and  they  and  I  were  of  course  ene- 
mies to  the  death. 

In  the  year  1851,  the  election  for  Governor  was  again 
pending ;  and  I  declared  myself  a  candidate  on  the  anti- 
slavery  issue  —  George  D.  Blakey,  of  Southern  Kentucky, 
being  my  Lieutenant.  * 

In  the  meantime,  seeing  that  the  non-slaveholders  were 
prosecuted  and  driven  out  into  the  new  States  and  the 
mountains  of  Kentucky,  I  projected  a  school  of  education 
for  their  benefit. 

I  had  some  lands  at  the  site  of  the  Berea  College.  So 
I  wrote  to  my  Christian  friend,  the  Rev.  John  G.  Fee,  of 
Bracken  County  —  who  was  persecuted  by  his  church,  and 
disinherited  by  his  father  for  his  Christian  faith  and  prac- 
tice, in  regarding  all  men  as  brothers  and  equals  before  God 
and  the  law  —  to  come  and  help  me.  He  willingly  came. 
I  gave  him  a  small  tract  of  land  for  himself,  and  two  hun- 
dred dollars  to  aid  in  building  his  house ;  and  another  small 
tract  of  land  for  his  church  and  his  school.  It  has,  by  his 
efforts,  now  grown  into  a  great  and  successful  college,  where 
whites  and  blacks,  men  and  women,  are  educated  on  equal 
terms.  This  last  feature  is  due  to  Fee's  own  leadership, 
and  could  not  have  been  foreseen,  but  has  always  had  my 
hearty  approbation.  As  a  proof  of  my  foresight,  that  sec- 
tion now  constitutes  the  only  two  liberal  Congressional 
Districts  in  the  State  of  Kentucky. 

Getting  once  more  into  my  buggy,  having  sent  a  cou- 
rier  ahead   to   make   the  appointments,    I    spoke    in   nearly 

*The  gallant  Blakey  liberated  all  his  slaves,  and  lives  to  see 
the  end  of  slavery. — C,   1885. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  213 

every  county  of  the  State,  where  the  scenes  at  Lawrence- 
burg  were  ever  repeated  —  always  threatened,  and  always 
coming  out  triumphant  in  the  end.  The  incidents  of  this 
canvass  would  fill  a  volume ;  but  I  tire  of  such  oft-repeated 
tales,  and  hasten  on  to  the  end.  The  result  was,  that  the 
Whig  party  was  beaten,  and  L.  W.  Powell,  the  Democratic 
candidate,  was  elected. 

I  received  about  5,000  votes;  but  nearly  30,000,  by  my 
advice,  staid  away  from  the  polls.  Thus,  and  forever,  fell 
the  Whig  Party  in  Kentucky ;  and  its  national  life  went 
out  in  i860,  when  John  Bell  and  Edward  Everett  bore  the 
Whig  standard  in  the  fatal  "forlorn-hope!  " 

In  the  meantime  the  old  actors  on  the  political  stage 
had  died,  or  passed  into  retirement  —  Adams,  Clay,  Web- 
ster, Calhoun,  Benton,  and  others  —  and  were  superseded 
by  new  men.  There  lingered  yet  one  who  deserves  men- 
tion in  this  connection ;  who  still  strove  gallantly  against 
fate. 

John  J.  Crittenden  was  the  next  man  in  Kentucky  to 
Henry  Clay.  His  popularity  was  unequaled.  Always 
amiable  and  unambitious,  he  could  at  all  times  fill  any 
public  trust  that  he  desired.  A  good  lawyer ;  an  eloquent 
speaker,  where  extreme  force  was  not  needed ;  a  faithful 
friend;  a  safe,  conservative  statesman,  he  was  Henry  Clay's 
associate,  but  never  assumed  to  be  his  equal  or  rival.  In 
the  last  canvass,  he  was  frankly  for  Taylor.  His  son, 
Thomas  L.  Crittenden,  was,  at  Buena  Vista,  General  Tay- 
lor's aide-de-camp;  and  his  son  George,  an  able  soldier, 
was  in  Taylor's  column,  and  also  in  General  Scott's  army. 

John  J.  Crittenden  believed,  as  I  did,  that  Clay  could 
not  carry  the  party,  and  he  said  so  to  him ;  but  he  took 
no  active  part  against  him,  though  he  was  really  the  cen- 
ter of  the  opposition.  This  produced  an  alienation  be- 
tween him  and  Clay;  but  they  were  reconciled  before  Mr. 
Clay's  death.  It  was  the  policy  of  small  men  to  flatter 
the  vanity  of  Mr.  Crittenden,  and  urge  him  to  assert  him- 
self; but  this  he,  knowing  too  well  what  nature  had  done, 


2  14  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

or  being  true  to  his  pledge  of  friendship,  never  did.  No 
doubt  he  severely  regretted  the  course  of  fate,  and  would 
at  last  have  made  Clay  president  if  he  had  seen  his  way 
clear  to  such  event. 

As  Clay  declined  in  years  and  strength,  the  slavery 
issue  waxed  stronger ;  the  breach  between  the  North  and 
the  South  widened.  Mr.  Crittenden,  being  then  in  the 
Senate,  ventured  to  fill  Clay's  boots ;  but  they  were  evi- 
dently too  large  for  him.  The  old  attempts  at  compro- 
mise were  feebly  revived ;  but,  like  assuagetives  and  often- 
used   remedies,  they  aggravated  the  disease. 

Crittenden  heartily  loved  the  Union.  He  had  no  sym- 
pathy with  slavery ;  far  less  with  disunion.  But  he  floated, 
rather,  upon  the  surface  of  the  seas ;  not  sounding,  or 
hardly  caring  to  know  the  deep  currents  and  rocks  below. 
It  was  but  piling  damp  wood  upon  an  inextinguishable  fire, 
which  must  at  last  increase  the  conflagration. 

The  annexation  of  Texas,  and  the  repeal  of  the  Mis- 
souri Compromise,  had  convinced  the  North  that  Slavery 
and  Liberty  could  no  longer  co-exist.  The  alliance,  under 
a  general  Government,  never  real  and  cordial,  had  now 
grown  into  an  open  contest  for  supremacy.  The  South 
determined  that  all  the  States  should  be  virtually  slave 
States,  or  the  Union  should  perish.  Mr.  Crittenden's  at- 
tempt then,  by  his  compromise  resolutions  and  the  amend- 
ments to  the  Constitution,  going  over  the  old  ground  once 
more,  whilst  they  showed  his  kind  nature  and  patriotism, 
all  earnest  men  saw  at  a  glance  was  doomed  to  defeat. 

Yet  his  talents  and  public  services  should  and  will  be 
held  in  loving  memory  by  all  Kentuckians,  and  impartial 
men  every-where.  The  two  volumes  of  his  life  and  writ- 
ings, edited  by  his  daughter,  Mrs.  A.  M.  Coleman, 
under  the  title  of  "  Life  of  J.  J.  Crittenden,"  is  pleasant 
reading,  and  gives  a  very  favorable  idea  of  his  ability  as  a 
speaker  and  debater.  The  correspondence  with  his  con- 
temporaries shows  him  a  general  favorite ;  and  gives  more 
secret  history  of  the  times  than  most  other  works  I  know 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  21 5 

of.  Much  of  the  matter  is  Boswellian ;  but  all  the  more 
interesting  on  that  account.  Who  cares  for  the  eternally 
repeated  generalizations  of  the  great?  What  interests  is 
the  inner  life  of  men  and  women,  which,  various  as  the 
human  face,  presents  ever  novelty  at  least. 

Some  of  his  correspondents  show  but  little  individuality, 
and  less  dignity.  Every  house  must  have  its  soiled  clothes 
washed ;  and  every  politician  must  also  have  a  go-between, 
I  suppose. 

Leslie  Combs  has  two  names:  as  usual — "Combs,"  in 
the  West;  and  "Coombs,"  in  the  East.  But  Robert  P. 
Letcher  is  the  chief  figure.  He  was  heavy-bodied,  with 
small  short  arms  and  legs,  like  the  flappers  of  a  shell-fish, 
with  a  round  bullet  head,  resting  apparently  upon  his 
shoulders,  without  any  visible  neck.  His  skin  was  dark, 
so  that  he  was  known  as  "Black  Bob;"  eyes  large,  shiny, 
black,  and  near  together ;  with  a  mouth  like  an  empty 
seed-bag  —  capable  of  great  expansion  of  its  voluminous 
folds.  On  the  whole,  he  was  a  small  edition  of  Falstaff, 
with   all   his  animality,  and  a  little  of  his  wit. 

Letcher  was  always  my  enemy ;  and  perhaps  I  am  not 
the  man  to  do  him  justice.  And  yet  he  is  the  most  in- 
teresting and  amusing  part  of  Mrs.  Coleman's  work.  He 
certainly  has  much  humor;  and  his  long  service  in  Con- 
gress gave  him  a  knowledge  of  men  and  ■  events  which 
made  him  an  associate  of  the  leading  men  of  his  time. 
I  confess  that  he  interests  me ;  and  we  can  say,  with 
Prince  Hal,  over  the  death  of  the  original  Fat  Jack: 
•  We  "better  could  have  spared  a  better  man." 

George  Robertson's  letter  to  Crittenden,  (see  Life,  Vol. 
II.)  in  which  he  shows  the  conspiracy  to  prevent  me  from 
being  Secretary  of  War  under  Lincoln's  administration,  is 
but  a  specimen  of  the  low  intrigues  which  my  enemies 
have  never  scrupled  to  use  against  one  who  was  always 
an  over-match  for  them  in  the  open  field  of  honorable 
war.  "B."  (Daniel  Breck,)  had  married  Mrs.  Lincoln's 
aunt,  the  sister  of  my  friend,   Robert  S.   Todd,   Esq.     And 


2l6  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

it  is  a  marked  example  of  Mr.  Lincoln's  self-control,  when 
he  listenened  for  two  hours  to  the  argument,  that  he 
ought  to  "take  his  enemies  into  his  bosom,"  before  he 
gave  utterance  to  the  words  quoted. 

I  allude  to  this  matter  now  to  say,  that  though  never 
intimate  with  Crittenden,  I  was  always  on  friendly  terms 
with  him  and  his  family.  And  I  have  no  evidence  that 
he  ever  joined  the  crusade  against  me. 

In  Mexico  his  son  George  B.  was  in  difficulties  with 
his  superior  officers,  and  called  upon  me,  as  a  friend  and 
Kentuckian,  to  carry  a  letter  which  might  have  involved 
me  in  a  duel  on  his  account,  according  to  the  fool-code ; 
but  the  superior  officer  had  the  good  sense  to  place  the 
matter  in  an  adjustable  form,  and  nothing  came  of  it. 
Col.  Crittenden  has  ever  shown  a  grateful  appreciation 
of  my  services;  and  Mr.  Crittenden,  who  much  loved  his 
gallant  son,  was  no  doubt  aware  of  our  personal  rela- 
tions. And  J.  J.  Crittenden  was  not  the  man  to  show  in- 
gratitude, or  engage  in  a  dishonorable  intrigue  against 
friend  or  foe.  His  daughter,  Cornelia,  who  married  Presi- 
dent J.  C.  Young  of  Danville  College,  Ky.,  was  one  of 
my  contemporaries.  She  was  a  very  attractive  woman  in 
mind  and  person,  and  left  ever  pleasant  memories  upon 
all  who  knew  her. 

John  J.  Crittenden  was  longer  in  the  Senate  than  any 
of  his  contemporaries.  He  had  great  influence  in  Presi- 
dential circles ;  and  was,  withal,  a  good  lawyer,  and  es- 
pecially a  great  advocate.  There  is  one  foot-note  in  Mrs. 
Coleman's  "Life,"  which  is  worth  more  than  all  else  in 
illustration  of  her  father's  character.  I  copy  verbatim  from 
Vol.  II. :  "At  the  time  of  Mr.  Crittenden's  death  his  entire 
estate  was  worth  about  eight  thousand  dollars."  In  those 
days  of  remorseless  luxury,  and  political  corruption,  it  is 
touching  to  see  those  lines.  What  evidence  of  honesty  — 
of  a  humane  nature  —  of  a  noble  spirit!  What  proof  of  a 
life-engrossing  patriotism!  There  are  many  millionaires 
now  in  politics,   and   in  business ;    but  Crittenden  was  the 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  21 7 

wealthiest  of  all.  The  nation's  wealth  was  his ;  and,  whilst 
that  survived,  he  who  served  her  so  well  could  never  want 
for  a  dollar! 

Taylor  having  been  elected,  I  acted  no  more  with  the 
Whig  Party  —  if  he  could  be  called  a  Whig.  I  had 
worked  all  my  life  for  that  party;  but  without  asking,  or 
receiving,  any  reward.  I  saw  Harrison  and  Tyler  and 
Taylor  and  Fillmore  and  Lincoln  made  Presidents,  speak- 
ing in  their  cause  every-where,  often  bearing  my  own  ex- 
penses, and  never  receiving  a  dollar  for  my  services,  as 
did  others.  And  now  Taylor  came  into  power,  much  by 
my  effort,  and,  Crittenden  being  my  friend,  I  could  have 
entered  public  life  with  new  elements  of  strength ;  but  I 
had  a  higher  end  in  view  —  the  establishment  of  the  Union 
upon  the  only  secure  basis — Equal  Rights  to  all  Men 
before  the  Law. 

In  the  meantime  Robert  P.  Letcher,  having  returned 
from  Mexico  as  United  States  Minister  Plenipotentiary, 
was  chosen  by  the  Whigs  as  their  candidate  for  Congress, 
in  the  old  Clay  district,  against  the  young  and  talented 
J.  C.  Breckinridge.  Letcher  had  never  been  beaten  be- 
fore the  people ;  but  I  had  given  that  party  a  heavy  blow 
in  the  defeat  of  Clay,  and  its  prestige  was  gone.  In  pur- 
suance of  my  policy  of  disruption,  I,  of  course,-  sided  with 
Breckinridge  —  not  as  a  Democrat,  but  the  opponent  of 
Letcher  and  Whigery.  I  had  around  me  a  compact  and 
plastic  body  of  friends,  which  was  sufficient  to  turn  the 
scales  of  fate.  I  set  all  the  wits  against  "Black  Bob," 
and  made  him  the  jest  of  every  crowd.  Letcher  had 
made  his  great  success  in  the  mountain  counties ;  but 
among  a  more  intellectual  constituency  of  the  blue-grass 
region  he  was  no  match  for  Breckinridge.  The  "boys" 
said  he  might  run  well  in  the  "pea-vine"  region;  but  the 
"Black  Horse  was  sure  to  get  his  feet  tangled  in  the 
blue-grass,  and  fall."  They  recommended  a  "close  stall 
and  a  short  halter,  lest  he  should  rub  his  tail!"  What 
can  stand  against  ridicule  ?     I   arranged  for  a  meeting  on 


2l8  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

Boone's  Creek,  near  the  Kentucky  River,  adjoining  my  old 
County  of  Madison.  We  were  in  force  on  the  ground, 
and  played  claqtiers  as  skillfully  as  a  Paris  opera-force. 

The  contrast  between  the  men  was  itself  an  argument. 
Breckinridge  was  tall,  well-formed,  with  fair  complexion, 
regular  face  of  great  mental  power,  large  blue  eyes,  and 
auburn  hair ;  intellectual,  composed,  and  full  of  conscious 
genius  and  future  prowess.  Letcher  I  have  already  de- 
scribed. He  had  grown  so  corpulent  by  age  and  heavy 
eating,  that  he  seemed  at  times  on  the  very  verge  of 
suffocation,  or  apoplexy.  The  weather  was  very  warm. 
Breckinridge  went  at  him  with  the  coolness  of  a  skilled 
swordsman ;  making  home-thrusts,  and  coolly  observing 
the  effect  of  each.  Letcher  was  very  much  confused, 
greatly  angry,  and  fought  as  one  who  had  lost  all  muscu- 
lar power,  and  even  eye-sight.  The  perspiration  poured 
off  him;  and  he  literally  "larded  the  earth."  His  voice 
was  guttural,  and  ejected  from  his  lungs  as  a  badly- 
charged  fuse  of  wet  and  dry  powder.  The  boys  shouted : 
"Cut  the  halter,  and  give  him  air!"  It  was  a  pitiable 
sight!  Letcher  had  no  friends.  By  invitation,  all  joined 
us,  and  down  we  went  to  the  celebrated  spring  at  Boone's 
Creek. 

The  "Black  Horse"  was  already  beaten.  That  was 
the  last  of  Letcher !  The  boys  were  in  high  glee ;  and 
old  Bourbon  and  mint-sling  were  severely  mixed  with  the 
cool  waters  of  the  noted  spring.  The  heat  of  the  day, 
the  heat  of  the  intellectual  fight,  and,  lastly,  the  heat  of 
the  old  Bourbon,  reached  a  climax. 

Boone's  Creek  sent  its  drift  into  the  Kentucky  River, 
and  formed  a  long  "riffle,"  or  shallows,  with  deep  water- 
holes  at  intervals.  The  sun  began  to  lengthen  the  shad- 
ows of  the  forest  trees ;  and  more  than  a  hundred  men, 
leaving  their  clothes  on  the  clear  pebbles,  went  into  the 
refreshing  waters.  I  was  among  them.  Nearly  fifty  yards 
below  was  another  squad  of  bathers.  I  heard  the  cry : 
"Clay!    Clay!"     At    first    I    thought    it   was    a    cry  for   a 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


219 


speech ;  for  when  was  there  an  occasion  where  in  Amer- 
ica a  speech  was  not  in  order?  But,  in  a  moment,  I 
saw  the  situation  —  a  man  was  drowning.  I  ran  and 
plunged  into  the  water.  A  young  man  named  William 
Willis,  a  Madison  County  man,  had  come  to  the  speak- 
ing. The  water  was  clear;  he  was  quiet,  a  foot  or  so 
beneath  the  surface,  but  his  head  was  seen.  I  caught 
him  by  the  hair ;  and,  holding  his  head  beneath  the  water, 
swam  with  him  to  the  shore.  Many  voices  cried  out: 
"Raise  his  head;  he  will  drown."  But  I  knew  the  danger 
of  being  caught  and  disabled ;  and,  in  my  own  way, 
placed  him  safely  on  the  shore.  In  an  hour  or  so  he 
was  on  foot  again.  So  a  farce  came  near  ending  in  a 
tragedy  —  such  is  life.* 

Breckinridge's  career  is  well  known.  That  family  was 
always  remarkable  for  talent  and  character.  In  my  times, 
Robert  J.  Breckinridge  was  the  flower  of  the  great  men 
of  that  name.  I  heard  him  make  his  last  political  speech 
in  Lexington,  when  I  was  at  college  in  Transylvania.  He 
was  a  man  of  too  much  mind  not  to  see  that  there  was 
no  sure  basis  of  progress  in  a  slave  State ;  and  was  of 
too  generous  and  frank  a  nature  to  conceal  his  sentiments. 
He  was  beaten,  in  Fayette,  for  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives in  Kentucky ;  and  never  entered  politics  again.  This 
drove  him  into  the  Church.     Of  course,  such   an   intellect 

*  When  some  gallant  fellows  saved  the  lives  of  drowning  men 
at  the  Louisville  Falls  of  the  Ohio,  the  Kentucky  Legislature 
honored  them  with  a  medal ;  but  when  I  saved  the  life  of  Willis, 
the  pro-slavery  journals  would  not  even  publish  the  fact !  And 
when  I  saved  the  lives  of  the  soldiers  at  Salao,  in  Mexico,  the 
political  journals  showered  upon  me  all  the  possible  calumnies  of 
eternal  hatred.  So,  when  I  would  go  no  longer  with  the  Repub- 
licans in  their  "Facihs  descensus  Averni,"  in  1866, —  although  all 
now  admit  that  my  work  in  Russia  saved  us  from  the  united  in- 
vasion of  France,  Spain,  and  England,  against  Mexico,  and  thus 
saved  the  Union, —  they  were  unequalled  in  history  in  their  de- 
tractive malice! 


2  20  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

could  ne  be  a  light  under  a  bushel  any  where,  and  he 
was,  in  doctrinal  matters,  a  great  divine ;  but,  as  I  often 
said,  the  country  lost  a  great  statesman  and  orator  in  a 
poor  preacher.  For,  after  all,  doctrine  does  not  amount 
to  much.  We  all  know  the  right ;  the  preacher  must  move 
us  to  action:  "Now  is  the  time."  There  must  be  a  vital 
faith ;  and  a  personal  or,  rather,  intellectual  enthusiasm,  to 
be  a  great  preacher.  Breckinridge's  heart,  I  fear,  lay  in 
another  field ;  and  that  was  closed  to  him  for  life.  He 
was,  however,  always  true  to  his  early  love ;  and  did  yeo- 
man's service  on  many  occasions,  by  speech  and  pen, 
against  slavery,  and  in  favor  of  the  Union  of  the  States. 
Some  of  his  sons  are  living,  and  are  now  men  of  mark. 
Wm.  C.  P.  Breckinridge,  one  of  Kentucky's  foremost  ora- 
tors and  statesmen,  is  now  a  candidate  for  Congress  in 
the  Clay  district ;  and.  if  elected,  as  it  seems  he  will  be, 
will  make  his  mark  in  the  national  council. 

John  C.  Breckinridge  was  foremost  whenever  fortune 
led  him.  But  defeat  settled  upon  the  "Lost  Cause," 
and  he  fell  with  it.  His  circumstances  were  peculiar. 
He  never  was  at  heart  a  Secessionist.  His  party  had 
greatly  honored  him ;  and  of  him,  I  fear,  it  might  well 
have  been  said:  "Beware  of  ambition;  by  that  the  angels 
fell!"  His  country  greatly  honored  and  greatly  trusted 
him.  So  much  greater  was  his  crime.  There  is  no  such 
thing  as  virtue  and  vice  in  this  world,  if  this  be  not  true. 
He  was  never  relieved  of  his  disabilities  on  account  of 
the  Rebellion.  This  he  keenly  felt.  It  caused,  I  doubt 
not,  despair,  and  his  early  death.  This  is  the  most  chari- 
table inference.  But  he  did  some  deeds  of  repentance 
which  should  be  held  as  offsets  to  his  great  offense.  He 
denounced  and  effectively  killed  in  Kentucky,  at  least,  the 
remorseless  "  Ku-Klux-Klan."  I  never  did  approve  of  the 
State  erecting  a  monument  to  his  memory,  whilst  Union 
soldiers  lie  obscure  in  turf-covered  graves.  To  honor 
those  who  have  signally  failed  in  the  admitted  duties  of 
civilized  society,  for  the  defense  of  national  life,  with  post- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  22  1 

humous  fame,  is  to  ignore  the  existence  of  good  and 
evil.  That  should  have  been  the  work  of  private  grief; 
for  to  frail  humanity  much  leniency  must  be  accorded, 
and  over  the  graves  even  of  the  fallen  tears  may  flow 
without  the  violation  of  the  eternal  laws.  So  great  are 
the  evils  of  a  revolution  that,  even  in  a  patriotic  cause, 
there  should  be  some  reasonable  chance  of  success  to 
halo  a  failure.  So  that  the  saying:  "Success  makes  the 
patriot,  and  defeat  the  traitor,"  can  not  be  entirely  con- 
demned. But  to  attempt  the  overthrow  of  the  American 
Republic,  to  conserve  the  meanest  of  all  despotisms  — 
Slavery  —  should  leave  but  little  sympathy  or  honor  for 
the  "  Lost  Cause!  " 

For  Breckinridge's  monument  was  appropriated  ten 
thousand  dollars ;  whilst  a  resolution  to  allow  a  similar 
sum  for  a  monument  in  memory  of  the  gallant  Union 
soldier,  William  Nelson,  was  voted  down  with  contempt 
and  indignation! 


CHAPTER   XII 


Joel  T.  Hart. — His  letters  to  me  from  Florence,  Italy. — My  speech  at  a 
Banquet  given  him  at  Lexington,  Kv. — Hart's  '-Triumph  of  Woman." — 
His  death. — The  Presidential  Canvass  of  1S52. — The  Johnsons. — The 
Free-Soil  Party  of  1S56. — How  I  first  met  Abraham  Lincoln. — Our 
further  acquaintance.— My  Correspondence  with  Rev.  James  S.  Davis, 
of  Cabin  Creek,  Ky. — Letter  to  ''Richmond  Messenger." — I  speak  at 
Chicago. 


JOEL  T.  HART,  the  Sculptor,  was  born,  in  1S10,  in  the 
County  of  Clarke,  Kentucky,  of  humble  but  respect- 
able parents.  His  education  was  limited  to  the  ordin- 
ary routine  of  the  children  of  the  poor  —  reading,  writing, 
and  arithmetic.  He  began  his  trade  as  a  stone-mason, 
building  walls,  chimneys,  and  such  rude  work.  Aspiring 
still  higher,  he  assisted  in  the  making  of  tomb-stones, 
where  better  material  and  fine  work  was  needed.  Whilst 
I  was  a  resident  of  Lexington.  Kentucky,  Hart  was  thus 
employed ;  where  sculptured  figures  began  to  be  used  in 
higher  ornamentation  —  alto-relievos  and  entire  statuettes. 
In  this  Hart  had  so  much  skill  that  he  attracted  my 
attention ;  and  I  persuaded  him  to  attempt  the  highest 
art  in  sculpture.  Working  by  day,  he  took  night-lessons 
in  drawing  and  anatomy ;  and  I  engaged  him  to  make  of 
myself  a  nude  bust  in  Italian  marble,  which  was  regarded 
as  a  great  success.  It  was  shown,  about  1S38,  in  the 
Academy  of  Art  in  Philadelphia,  and  was  highly  com- 
mended. For  this  I  paid  him  five  hundred  dollars  —  his 
first  money  in  this  direction.  But  the  fame  of  the  young 
Kentuckian  grew  apace ;  and  he  was  engaged,  at  good 
prices,  to  mould  in  marble  Henry  Clay.  General  Jackson, 
Crittenden,  and  others.  Having  the  ambition  to  be  first 
in  his  art,  he  went  to  Florence,  in  Italy,  where  the  best 
222 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  2  2  "5 

opportunities  were  offered  to  the  world's  students;  and 
there  he  remained  —  visiting  Kentucky  but  once  —  till  his 
death.  Confining  his  work  mostly  to  life-busts  for  a  sup- 
port; but  working,  in  fact,  for  the  great  ideal  of  his  life, 
a  nude  statue  of  woman,  which  ultimated  in  his  "Triumph 
of  Woman"  —  the  noblest  representation  of  Nature's  high- 
est work  —  a  nude  female  statue,  with  a  Cupid  and  his 
quiver  exhausted  of  arrows.  As  I  had  much  to  do  with 
this  creation  of  genius,  I  have  felt  always  a  great  interest 
in  its  final  completion  and  success.  As  he  made  my  first 
bust  in  clay,  and  then  in  marble,  he  had  great  ambition 
to  make  it  a  success,  and  took  a  long  time  and  great 
pains  in  its  execution.  As  a  love  of  art,  and  the  beauti- 
ful in  nature,  was  ever  a  passion  with  me,  I  had  many 
long  talks  with  Hart  upon  this  subject.  I  held  that  the 
education  of  the  Greeks,  in  a  fine  climate,  with  light  and 
loose  clothing,  and  out-door  exercise,  caused  that  perfection 
of  form  which  has  made  them  famous  in  the  world.  Their 
statues  then  were,  no  doubt,  the  finest  of  all  nations  — 
health  and  vigor  being  the  first  elements  of  the  beautiful ; 
whilst  their  heathen  gods,  of  such  great  number,  made 
Greece  the  highest  school  of  art  in  the  world.  But  the 
religion  of  the  Greeks,  whilst  giving  the  highest  develop- 
ment to  man,  had  made  woman  as  she  was  socially  — 
simply  a  fine  animal,  having  none  of  that  infinite  flexi- 
bility of  feature  and  development  of  brain  and  the  senti- 
ments which  characterizes  modern  Christian  society.  So 
that  the  Greek  face,  with  all  its  regular  lines  of  beauty, 
never  moved  me  as  the  modern  woman.  I  thought  the 
ancient  Venuses  could  be  surpassed  by  following  nature 
more  closely ;  and  that  the  Venuses  of  Medici,  and  of 
Milo,  and  others,  could  be  exceeded  in  perfection  and 
effect.  To  all  this  Hart  agreed ;  for  he  had  a  fine  per- 
ception of  the  beautiful  in  sentiment,  and  the  physical. 
Before  he  went  to  Europe,  then,  he  had  formed  his 
plans;  and  the  "Triumph  of  Woman,"  or,  of  "Chastity," 
was    his    life-work.      He    talked    with    me    again    when    he 


224  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

was  here  from  his  foreign  home;  and  wrote  to  me  at 
times,  giving  an  account  of  his  progress.  He  studied 
anatomy  and  drawing  under  more  skillful  teachers  abroad; 
and  he  made  an  innumerable  number  of  measurements 
from  life  of  the  female  figure  in  all  countries — holding 
that  nature  was  higher  than  art,  and  that  the  highest  art 
was  simply  the  aggregation  in  one  group  or  person  of  all 
the  finest  elements  of  beauty.  I  have  now  letters  from 
him  written  at  Florence,  expressing  his  gratification  at  his 
success ;  and  the  appreciation  which  the  most  renowned 
living  artists  had  expressed  in  favor  of  his  work.  He 
therein  avows  his  design  of  inscribing  my  name  upon  this 
immortal  statue,  which  failed  only,  no  doubt,  by  his  death, 
just  as  the  finishing  touches  were  to  have  been  made. 

LETTERS   OF   JOEL    T.    HART. 

Lexington,  Ky.,  November  28,    i860. 

Dear  Clay  :  —  I  regret  not  being  able  to  see  you  and  your 
family  before  I  leave  for  New  York,  in  two  or  three  days,  for 
Italy.  I  hope  to  be  back,  however,  in  some  six  months,  to  set 
up      ...  (omission  ?)  in    New  York,   and    have  my  works 

executed  in  Italy,  where  my  studio  and  workmen  are. 

I  trust  the  column  *  has  arrived  safely  at  White  Hall ;  and  beg 
of  you  to  accept  it  as  a  little  token  of  my  gratitude  to  one  who 
was  so  noble  as  you  were  in  giving  me  the  helping-hand  in  my 
earliest  struggles  and   darkest  days. 

I  hope  that  you  will  be  repaid  for  your  ardent  labors  and  sac- 
rifices for  the  common  good. 

With   my  best   regards   to   Mrs.    Clay  and  your  children, 

I  am,   ever  most  truly,   your  friend, 

Joel  T.   Hart. 

C.    M.   Clay,   Esq., 
White   Hall,    Madison   County,   Ky. 

*This  is  a  column,  or  pedestal,  of  solid  verd-antique,  with  a  movable  cap-piece 
of  the  same  material,  highly  sculptured  with  haut-reliefs.  Hart  paid  all  charges,  even 
transportation  ;  and  the  column,  at  the  lowest  estimate,  is  valued  at  one  thousand 
dollars.  This  is  characteristic  of  the  man ;  caring  nothing  for  money,  hut  full  of 
the  noblest  ambition  for  fame.  He  is  the  fruit  of  my  "ardent  labors  and  sacrifices 
for  the  common  good  "  —  Freedom.  It  is  a  great  truth,  that  the  greatest  and  noblest 
of  Kentuckians  were  Liberals.  —  C.   1885. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  225 

Among  many,  I  select  one  more  letter  of  Hart's, 
given  verbatim : 

Florence,  Italy,  January  22,   1865. 

My  Dear  Clay: — I  send  you  greetings,  with  a  bit  of  my  pat- 
riotism, which  was  published  in  one  of  the  American  newspapers, 
but  not,   I  believe,   in   the   Louisville  Journal,   where  I  first  sent  it. 

I  was  a  soldier  in  your  ranks  in  '45,  and  voted  in  the  Con- 
vention in  '49,  at  Frankfort;  and  have  made  war  in  many  a  song 
within  the  last  four  years  against  Slavery  and  for  the  Union,  the 
most  of  which  have  been  published  in  the  United  States.  As  you 
are  the  only  man  gifted  and  bold  enough  to  stand  up  against  that 
common  curse  in  Kentucky  through  the  press  —  risking  your  life 
and  every  thing  —  it  gives  me  pleasure  to  write  a  word  of  your 
wisdom,  which,  had  it  been  followed,  State  by  State,  the  war  would 
have  been  avoided.  Though  you  deserve  the  first  honors  of  the 
great  and  free  Republic,  yet  they  are  not  always  granted  while  one 
is  alive ;  but,  come  what  may,  yours  will  be  one  of  the  first  his- 
torical names. 

As  to  myself  I  have  foregone  every  thing  else  to  reach  the 
first  degree  in  my  profession ;  and,  as  you  were  my  first  patron, 
and  of  all  the  most  cordial  to  greet  and  favor  my  labors,  however 
humble,  I  know  you  will  be  pleased  to  hear  a  word  of  what  I  am 
about.  And  first,  within  the  last  fifteen  months,  I  have  remodeled 
my  statue  of  H.  Clay  for  Louisville  —  made  it  original,  and  far  finer 
than  either  of  my  original  ones;  it  is  far  advanced  in  an  exquisite 
block  of  the  finest  marble. 

For  my  portraits  the  Italians  gave  me  the  first  place  of  honor 
as  sculptor,  of  any  foreigner,  in  their  great  national  exhibition  three 
years  ago.  But  it  is  to  the  Ideal  that  I  have  mostly  devoted  myself 
for  the  fifteen  years  past ;  only  allowing  two  or  three  busts  to  go  out 
of  my  hands. 

I  studied  anatomy  one  hour  a  day  for  five  or  six  years  at  Lex- 
ington in  winter,  having  modeled  busts  of  Dudley,  Cross,  etc.;  have 
been  five  times  to  London,  and  studied  there  fourteen  months  at  one 
time;  five  times  to  Paris,  grouping  tableaux  with  the  fair  Pompeian 
damsels  ;  five  times  to  Rome ;  once  to  Naples ;  studied  and  measured 
every  beautiful  young  woman  I  could  get  in  reach  of  for  the  last 
thirty  years,  keeping  my  especial  studies  to  myself,  and  have  at  last 
gratified  my  passion  in  modeling  a  life  ideal  Virgin  and  Child  in  a 
group;  not  the  Christian  Virgin  and  Child,  however.  The  figures 
are  nude — "Beauty's  Triumph."  She,  being  assailed  by  Cupid, 
Vol.  I.  — 15 


2  26  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

rests  her  left  foot  on  his  exhausted  quiver,  and  holds  his  last  arrow 
in  triumph,  for  which  he  pleads  —  tiptoeing,  reaching  after  it.  It 
gives  the  most  graceful  and  finest  possible  attitude  both  to  the 
woman  and  the  boy.  All  who  dare  speak  out  say  that  the  attitude 
is  finer  than  either  the  Venus  de  Medici,  or  the  Venus  of  Milo,  at 
Paris.  Reinhart,  the  Baltimore  sculptor,  who  Paris  says  is  the  best 
sculptor  America  yet  produced  (save  our  dear  self),  tells  it  around 
that  it  is  the  finest  work  in  Florence.  Such  speeches  are  now  every 
day  being  made.  The  idea  is  modern,  and  my  own.  Though  not 
near  finished,  it  is  a  far  finer  work  than  I  ever  expected  to  produce. 
I  have  casts  of  all  the  greatest  antiques  and  moderns  of  the  Venus 
family,  and  the  like,  in  my  studio.  The  best  connoisseurs  say  that 
none  of  them  equal  mine.  But  this  is  too  much,  at  least,  for  me  to 
say ;  but  it  is  to  you  I  am  writing. 

I  wish  to  exhibit  it,  in  marble,  in  the  United  States.  I  would 
have  it  photographed,  and  send  you  a  copy ;  but  it  is  best  not  to  let 
the  photographers  now  meddle  with  it.  One  or  two  sculptors  have 
already  plagiarized  from  it.  I  expect  some  day  to  engrave  your 
name  upon  it,  as  my  first  patron ;  but  will  talk  of  this  bye  and  bye. 
I  wish  you  would  make  a  visit  to  old  Italy.  Drop  me  a  line.  In 
the  hope  that  you  and  yours  are  all  well,  very  truly,  your  friend, 

Joel  T.  Hart. 

Hon.  C.  M.  Clay, 
U.  S.   Minister  at  St.  Petersburg,  Russia. 

Hart  died  in  Florence ;  and  his  remains  are  now  buried 
in  the  public  cemetery  at  Frankfort,  Kentucky,  brought 
home  at  the  expense  of  his  native  State.  The  "Triumph 
of  Woman,"  or  of  "Chastity,"  as  it  was  first  called,  was 
bought  of  Hart's  executors  by  the  noted  Tiffanys  of  New 
York,  and  sold  by  them  to  the  ladies  of  Lexington,  at  five 
thousand  dollars,  where  it  will  compose  the  nucleus  of  an 
art-gallery,  hereafter  to  be  erected.  The  statue  is,  unlike 
those  of  the  Greeks,  life-size.  The  body,  in  all  its  undu- 
lations, is  according  to  nature,  there  being  no  attempt  to 
cut  it  down  to  a  supposed  highest  ideal ;  but  it  follows 
Nature,  where  alone  exists  the  true  ideal.  The  face  is 
not  Greek,  but  modern ;  and  the  attitude,  unlike  the 
Greek,  whilst  it  displays  all  the  beauties  of  form  possible, 
is  not  at  all  sensually  suggestive,  but  shows  the  most  per- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  227 

feet  unconsciousness,  without  which  all  the  Venuses  are  not 
the  real  types  of  the  highest  ideal  in  art,  but  gross  "pre- 
sentments" of  animal  life. 

Speech  of  C.   M.    Clay  at  the   Banquet  given  Joel  T.   Hart  at  Lex- 
ington,  Kentucky,    i860. 

Gentlemen:  —  I  am  more  than  honored  by  this  call.  What- 
ever may  be  my  very  humble  merits,  I  do  not  attribute  it  to 
them.  I  know  that  I  but  reflect  the  admiration  you  design  for 
our  distinguished  guest.  I  see  before  me  the  early  friend  from 
Bourbon  (Mr.  Rogers),  the  gentleman  on  my  right  from  Clarke, 
who  has  known  his  person  longer  than  I.  But  I  am  his  intimate 
companion  from  the  infancy  of  that  immortal  past  which  we  meet 
here  to  celebrate.  I  need  not  say  to  this  audience,  that  Joel  T. 
Hart  was  born,  in  18 10,  in  old  Clarke,  in  old  Kentucky.  These, 
our  ancestors  coming  here,  in  the  language  of  the  Romans,  into 
a  terra  incognita,  filled  with  wild  beasts  and  the  more  terrific 
savages  of  the  forest,  were  not  men  whom  difficulties  could  appal, 
or  dangers  daunt.  The  sickly  scions  perished  by  the  wayside  — 
the  sturdy  oaks  only  survived.  Out  of  such  stock  sprung  our 
guest;  who,  with  the  characteristic  aspirations  of  our  State,  de- 
termined to  be  first  or  nothing/  —  sprung  from  no  family  of  he- 
reditary renown  —  a  child  of  the  people,  wearing  the  coat  of  arms 
which  our  glorious  institutions  confer  on  all  —  "  an  open  field  and 
a  fair  fight" — he  advanced  from  the  humble  calling  of  a  stone- 
cutter to  be  the  first  in  the  divine  art  of  living  sculptors !  I  have, 
I  am  proud  to  say,  known  him  like  a  brother.  I  have  seen  him 
struggle  through  the  long  night  of  poverty  aud  obscurity,  caring 
nothing  for  ease,  luxury,  social  rank,  wealth,  or  power;  but  with 
a  steady  and  sublime  purpose  aspiring  to  immortality  among  men. 
Whatever  we  may  do  —  whatever  Kentucky  may  do  —  that  pur- 
pose is  achieved;  and  the  world  decrees  that  the  name  of  Hart 
shall  never  die.  I  know  what  I  say;  I  challenge  criticism.  We 
do  not  claim  for  Hart  supremacy  in  abstract  conception  —  in  what 
may  be  termed,  par  excellence,  "The  Ideal."  But  we  do  claim 
for  him  that,  in  the  perpetuation  of  that  noblest  work  of  nature ;  in 
that  on  which  only  the  Divine  Writings  tell  us  God  impressed  His 
own  image,  Man;  on  the  tablet  of  whose  world-wide  intelligence 
the  passions  and  aspirations  of  angels  and  devils  in  infinite  flexi- 
bility of  feature  play,  Hart  has  no  equal,  living  or  dead.  He  is 
no  mere  copyist  —  limning  the  leaden  outlines  of  this  our  "earthly 


2  28  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

tabernacle;"  but,  seizing  the  happiest  expression  of  his  favored 
subject,  he  passes  it  through  the  crucible  of  his  own  genius,  and 
imbues  it  with  divine  life.  These  people  may  pass  away;  their 
institutions  may  be  forgotten ;  but,  as  long  as  we  shall  be  re- 
membered among  men,  Hart,  Clay,  and  Kentucky  will  survive 
together.  * 

It  is  an  illustration  of  the  powers  of  genius,  and  our 
free  institutions,  that  this  once  obscure  youth  in  Lexing- 
ton should  at  last  be  mpre  honored  by  the  elite  of  the 
ladies  of  Kentucky  than  any  of  the  aristocracy  who  ever 
went  before  him.  The  Ladies'  Hart  Memorial  Association 
bought  the  "Triumph  of  Woman"  of  the  Tiffanys  of  New 
York,  at  $5,000;  and  it  was  made  the  occasion,  when  re- 
ceived in  Kentucky,  of  many  eulogies  upon  Hart.  Mrs. 
Wm.  C.  P.  Breckinridge,  wife  of  the  orator,  and  the  grand- 
daughter of  Governor  Joseph  Desha,  was  at  the  head  of 
the  movement.  The  poetess  of  JCentucky,  Rosa  Vertner, 
now  Mrs.  Rosa  Vertner  Jeffrey,  who  has  been  so  long 
distinguished  for  her  beauty,  wrote  the  poem  upon  the 
occasion.  Thus  one  of  the  most  beautiful  women  of  her 
times  honored  the  impersonation  of  the  highest  type  of 
her  sex  yet  made  immortal  in  art. 

Written  for  the  Lexington   Observer. 
HART'S    "TRIUMPH    OF   CHASTITY." 

INSCRIBED    TO 
MRS.   WM.   C    P.    BRECKINRIDGE. 


BY    ROSA    VERTNER   JEFFREY. 


An  artist's  hand  hath  carved  a  mystic  story, 
Whose  inspiration  through  the  marble  shines; 

Its  dumb,  cold  whiteness  is  transfused  with  glory, 
Illuminating  all  the  beauty  lines. 

A  story!  in  the  fair  form  of  a  woman, — 
Let  woman's  heart  its  subtle  truth  evolve; 

*This  was  before  Hart  made  the  "Triumph  of  Woman,"  and  which  is  the 
highest  ideal;  being  the  first  work  of  the  Cosmos — "Woman" — unequalled  in  in- 
spiration.    I  speak  on  Burn's  authority:   "All  nature  swears,"  etc.  —  C.    1885. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  229 

This  marble  problem — yet  with  all  so  human, 
By  genius  left,  for  purity  to  solve. 

A  rare  creation,  as  to  form  and  fashion, — 

A  woman,  by  whose  lofty  pose  is  shown 
The  soul's  high  triumph  over  earthly  passion ; 

A  fable !  marvelously  cut  in  stone. 
With  life's  warm  flushes  through  its  pallor  breaking 

To  tint  the  cheek,  and  pulse  the  sculptured  breast, 
'Twould  scarcely  be  more  eloquent  —  thus  waking  — 

Than  in  its  perfect  and  eternal  rest. 

A  thing  of  faultless  beauty,  through  long  ages 

It  must  forever  stand,  forever  shine ; 
Its  meaning  graved  on  Purity's  white  pages, 

Worshipped  forever  in  her  cloistered  shrine. 
All  honor  to  the  genius  thus  achieving 

Such  glorious  triumph,  with  a  master's  hand, 
This  chaste  ideal  of  his  soul  receiving 

Its  impress  from- the  women  of  his  land. 

He  gave  them  homage,  without  stint  or  measure; 

Upon  the  altar  of  his  native  home ; 
Be  it  their  mission  to  enshrine  this  treasure, 

Fine  as  the  sculptured  gems  of  ancient  Rome. 
Within  the  milk-white  quarries  of  Carrara, 

No  purer,  fairer  marble  ever  shone ; 
No  purer  women  live,  and  none  are  fairer, 

Than  those  he  has  immortalized  in  stone. 
Lexington,  Ky.,  April  15,   1884. 

Although  the  Democrats  were  beaten  in  1848,  they 
gathered  strength  by  the  weakness  of  Fillmore  and  the 
divisions  of  the  Whio-s.  Millard  Fillmore,  Daniel  Web- 
ster,  and  Winfield  Scott  were  the  aspirants  for  nomina- 
tion ;  and  Scott  was  finally  successful.  The  popularity  of 
Taylor's  military  career,  no  doubt,  aided  the  result ;  whilst 
Webster's  and  Fillmore's  subserviency  to  the  slave-power 
disgusted  even  the  conservative  Whigs. 

Franklin  Pierce,  who  was  little  known,  but  had  been 
in  the  Mexican  War,  was  made  the  nominee  of  the  Demo- 


23O  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

crats  —  the  prominent  candidates  having  been  Cass,  Buch- 
anan, Douglas,  and  Marcy.  But  all  personal  aspirations 
were  merged  into  solid  devotion  to  the  slave-power;  and 
Pierce  swept  the  country,  losing  only  four  States. 

The  Free-soilers  nominated  John  P.  Hale  and  George 
W.  Julian,  as  the  representatives  of  the  Liberal  Party. 

There  was  this  fatality  about  slavery:  whether  it  lost 
or  won,  its  fate  was  not  changed.  It  took  the  sweeping 
vote  of  Pierce  to  make  them  mad  with  prosperity ;  and 
their  ultra  platform,  and  violent  action  in  Kansas,  to  arouse 
the  people  from  their  fatal  lethargy.  When  the  great 
Webster,  who  yielded  so  much  of  the  old  New-England 
spirit  for  compromise,  was  so  contemptuously  thrown  over- 
board, lesser  men  took  warning,  and  girded  themselves 
for  the  inevitable  conflict. 

The  Missouri  Compromise  of  1820,  by  which  all  terri- 
tory north  of  360  30'  was  forever  consecrated  to  free  soil 
and  free  men,  had  been  held  as  sacred  as  the  Constitution 
itself.  When,  therefore,  a  bill  was  brought  into  the  Con- 
gress and  passed,  by  which  this  time-honored  compact 
was  annulled,  and  slavery  allowed  to  enter  all  the  territo- 
ries, there  was  an  alarm  and  indignation  in  the  Nation 
which  was  never  before  witnessed. 

The  Liberals  were  confirmed  in  their  predictions  of 
the  attempt  at  universal  supremacy  by  the  Slave-power ; 
the  ostrich-like  Conservatives  were  dragged  from  their  false 
security ;  and  the  lovers  of  Liberty  every-where  saw  that 
it  was  "now  or  never."  The  repeal  of  the  Missouri  Act, 
followed  by  other  aggressions,  showed  that  there  could  be 
no  compromise  between  Liberty  and  Slavery. 

I  took  no  part  in  the  canvass ;  but  held  my  position  in 
the  advanced  guard  of  the  pioneers,  sympathizing  with  the 
Free-soilers,  but  confining  my  action  to  Kentucky ;  foresee- 
ing coming  events,  and  securing  every  position  for  future 
action. 

The  Johnsons  were  a  very  large,  wealthy,  and  influen- 
tial   family.       Richard    M.  Johnson,  the   reported  slayer  of 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  23  I 

Tecumseh,  had  been  nominated  for  Vice-President  of  the 
United  States  on  the  Democratic  side.  He  was  altogether 
devoted  to  politics ;  and,  though  but  of  moderate  talents, 
was  a  man  of  great  energy,  amiability,  and  ambition.  He 
was  the  admitted  leader  of  the  party  in  Kentucky ;  and 
his  brothers  and  relations  in  several  of  the  cotton  States 
gave  the  family  great  power.  In  1845  they  were  effective 
in  overthrowing  the  Trite  American  on  the  18th  of  August. 

After  my  return  from  Mexico,  there  was  a  better  feeling 
toward  me ;  and  I  was  approached  by  these  men  and  emi- 
nent Whigs,  and  asked  kindly  to  discontinue  the  slavery 
war,  and  that  I  should  have  any  office  in  the  gift  of  the 
people.  These  promises  were  not  vain  talk ;  they  were 
based  upon  the  highest  possibilities.  But  I  declined  all 
compromise,  and  stood  by  my  colors  to  the  last. 

The  success  of  the  Texas  annexation,  and  the  repeal 
of  the  Missouri  Compromise,  by  which  the  slave-power 
entered  Kansas,  once  set  apart  forever  to  free  men,  and, 
lastly,  the  Lecompton  Constitution,  aroused  the  whole 
North  to  the  great  issue.  Disintegration  of  the  old  parties 
had  long  since,  as  I  have  said,  set  in ;  but  now  leading  poli- 
ticians began  to  fall  into  the  ranks  of  the  followers  of  John 
Quincy  Adams.  S.  P.  Chase,  Martin  Van  Buren,  John  P. 
Hale,  Joshua  Giddings,  Thomas  H.  Benton,  John  C.  Fre- 
mont, G.  W.  Julian,  Wm.  H.  Seward,  the  Blairs,  and  others, 
sooner  or  later,  fell  into  the  new  party,  opposed  to  the  slave- 
power.  In  1856,  it  had  grown  into  respectable  proportions; 
and  John  C.  Fremont,  Thomas  H.  Benton's  son-in-law, 
who  had  won  prominence  by  his  march  to  California  through 
the  Rocky  Mountains,  was  made  the  candidate  for  Presi- 
dent, with  Wm.  L.  Dayton  for  Vice-President,  of  the  Free- 
soil  Party.  Once  more  I  took  an  active  part  in  the  can- 
vass in  the  North ;  and  spoke,  as  usual,  to  immense  audi- 
ences. The  violence  against  the  opponents  of  the  slave- 
power  in  the  North  was  as  relentless  as  in  the  South.  E. 
B.  Lovejoy  was  killed  not  long  before  at  Alton,  Illinois; 
and,  in  Indiana,  many  men  were  murdered  at  public  meet- 


232  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

ings ;  whilst  O.  P.  Morton,  then  a  Democrat,  and  Thomas 
A.  Hendricks  were  our  most  unsparing  opponents. 

Abraham  Lincoln  was  first  seen  by  me  at  Springfield, 
Illinois,  in  1856.  Here  I  made  my  appointment  at  the 
capital ;  but,  when  the  hour  arrived,  like  at  Frankfort, 
Kentucky,  the  doors  were  closed  against  me.  Fortunately, 
the  weather  was  pleasant;  and  the  crowd  immense.  This 
noted  man,  who  was  to  fill  so  large  a  space  in  the  world's 
history,  was  then  comparatively  unknown,  practicing  law 
quietly  at  Springfield,  with  his  associate,  O.  H.  Browning. 
They  sat  under  the  trees.  Whittling  sticks,  as  he  lay  on 
the  turf,  Lincoln  gave  me  a  most  patient  hearing.  I  shall 
never  forget  his  long,  ungainly  form,  and  his  ever  sad  and 
homely  face.  He,  too,  was  a  native  Kentuckian ;  and 
could  bear  witness,  in  his  own  person,  to  the  depressing 
influence  of  slavery  upon  all  the  races.  All  my  weary  and 
seemingly  profitless  speeches  in  Kentucky,  in  the  Provi- 
dence of  God,  fell  like  seed  sown  in  good  ground ;  and, 
when  the  day  of  fate  came,  whether  the  gallant  State 
should  declare  for  Union  or  Secession,  she  stood  impreg- 
nable for  the  Union  of  our  fathers.  *     So   I   flattered  my- 

From  the    Washington  Republic. 
*  INTERESTING    CORRESPONDENCE. 
We  have  received  for  publication  the  following  correspondence. 
It  will  command  the  wide  interest  and  attention  with  which  every- 
thing is  received  by  the  public  from  Cassius  M.   Clay,   than  whom 
a  more  gallant  spirit  does  not  live: 

October  8,    1857. 
To  the  Editor  of  the  Republic: 

The  inclosed  correspondence  was  not  designed,  when  written, 
for  publication ;  but  as  Mr.  Davis's  letter  evidently  was  intended 
to  elicit  from  me  something  for  general  explanation,  I  have  thought 
it  best,  and  no  breach  of  confidence,  to  send  his  letter  and  this 
reply  at  once  to  the  press.     Your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 

Cabin  Creek,  Lewis  Co.,  Ky. ,  Friday,   October  2,   1857. 
Dear  Sir  :  —  In  common  with  multitudes  of  the  friends  of  free- 
dom,   I  learned  with  regret  of  the   disturbances  which    have   taken 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY. 


233 


self,  when  Lincoln  listened  to  my  animated  appeals  for 
universal  liberty  for  more  than  two  hours,  that  I  sowed 
there  also  seed  which  in  due  time  bore  fruit.  At  all 
events,  he  was  ever  kind  and  confidential  with  me;  and 
to  the  day  of  his  death  there  never  was  an  unfriendly 
word  or  thought  between  us. 

I  saw  no  more  of  Lincoln  till  after  his  celebrated  can- 
vass with  Stephen  A.  Douglas  for  the  Senatorship  of  Illi- 
nois, in  1858.  He  was  going  on  north  to  make  that 
speech,  before  the  young  men  of  New  York  City,  which 
placed  him  so  eminently  before  the  people  for  President. 
Here  we  renewed  our  old  acquaintanceship;  and  I,  on 
the  cars,  had  a  long  talk  with  him  on  the  great  issue. 
He  listened  a  long  time  —  such  was  his  habit  —  without 
saying  a  word  ;  and,  when  I  had  concluded  my  argument, 
he  replied:  "Yes,  I  always  thought,  Mr.  Clay,  that  the 
man  who  made  the  corn  should  eat  the  corn." 

Now,  these  homely  ways  of  expression  lowered  him  in 
the  estimation  of  weak  men ;  but  his  style  was  that  of 
Franklin  —  natural  and  robust,  and  therefore  impressive 
and  convincing. 

place  in  Rockcastle  County;  and  I  was  also  sorry  to  learn,  through 
the  Cincinnati  Commercial,  that  you  did  not  feel  at  liberty  to  inter- 
pose your  powerful  influence  for  the  maintenance  of  that  freedom 
of  speech  which  has  been  enjoyed  through  the  blessing  of  Provi- 
dence on  your  exertions ;  and  I  fear  that  friends  in  the  Northern 
States  will  misapprehend  your  withdrawal  of  aid  from  Brother  Fee, 
and  infer  that  your  zeal  is  slackening  in  the  cause  of  universal 
liberty. 

I  fear,  too,  that  what  you  say  about  Brother  Fee's  position 
tending  to  revolution  and  insurrection  may  inflame  the  mob. 

But,  of  course,  my  impressions  come  from  reports  received 
from  that  region,  and  I  know  not  the  state  of  things  as  well  as 
one  on  the  ground. 

Would  the  determination  on  your  part  to  secure  to  him  the 
right  of  speech  produce  the  impression  that  you  indorsed  the 
principles  of  the  radical  Abolitionists?  I  think  not.  The  slave- 
holders and  pro-slavery  men  who  met  a  few  weeks  ago  in   Madison 


234  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

Once  in  Washington,  after  he  was  President,  in  com- 
pany with  a  few  friends,  we  had  a  talk  about  the  fidelity 
of  some  person,  either  civil  or  military,  to  the  Union ;  and, 

did  not  think  so.  Judge  Reid,  formerly  of  this  Circuit  Court,  did 
not  think  he  was  sanctioning  the  course  of  Brother  Fee  when  he 
here  charged  the  grand-jury  not  to  bring  in  a  bill  against  him. 

I  wish,  sir,  you  would  use  your  influence  in  behalf  of  the  un- 
restrained utterance  of  what  this  godly  man  honestly  believes  true. 
I  am  quite  sure  that  the  people  of  the  free  States  would  appre- 
ciate the  action,  and  that  your  magnanimity  in  this  respect  would 
not  be  lost  on  the  South. 

I  should  be  happy  to  hear  from  you  soon.     Respectfully, 

James  S.   Davis. 
Mr.   C.   M.   Clay. 

October  8,    1857. 

Rev.  and  Dear  Sir  :  —  Your  favor  of  the  2d  instant  is  received. 
I  have  avoided  writing  any  thing  upon  the  subject  of  the  late  mobs 
in  Rockcastle  County,  Kentucky,  preferring  to  lie  myself  under 
misapprehension  rather  than  do  any  thing  which  might  seem  cal- 
culated to  increase  the  embarrassment  of  our  mutal  friend,  the 
Rev.  John  G.  Fee.  But  since  you  put  direct  questions  to  me, 
with  regard  to  our  relative  position,  I  do  not  feel  at  liberty  to 
refuse  a  reply,  and  to  assume  whatever  responsibility  may  rightly 
rest  upon  me. 

In  the  first  place,  then,  I  did  not  withdraw  my  influence  from 
him,  but  he  his  from  me.  We  acted  together,  from  before  1848, 
upon  the  basis  of  Constitutional  opposition  to  slavery.  On  the  4th 
of  July,  1856,  against  my  urgent  advice  and  solemn  protest,  he 
publicly,  from  the  stump,  not  in  the  capacity  of  a  minister  of  the 
Gospel,  but  as  a  politician,  made  avowals  in  substance  of  the  doc- 
trines of  the  Radical  Abolitionists.  That  is,  as  I  understand  him, 
slavery  being  contrary  to  the  higher  law  —  the  law  of  Nature  and 
of  God — is  "no  law,"  unconstitutional,  and  void,  and  ought  not  to 
be  enforced  by  judge  or  citizen.  In  consequence  of  this  separation 
from  the  Republican  Party,  the  Central  Club  of  our  State  called  a 
meeting,  and  elected  another  Corresponding  Secretary  in  Mr.  Fee's 
stead,  he  being  present,  and  silent,  at  the  meeting.  In  taking  his 
position,  then,  he  separated  himself  from  me  and  my  party;  and 
now,  when  his  own  action  brings  him  into  trouble,  to  blame  me  is 
unjust  and  absurd. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  235 

after  hearing  all  that  was  said,  Lincoln  concluded:  "Yes; 
he  is  a  bad  egg."  As  we  left  the  White  House,  one  of 
the   company  said:    "Now,   it   is   all   right;   but,  for   God's 

You  complain  that  I  characterized  "Radicalism"  as  "revolu- 
tionary and  insurrectionary."  I  think  it  is.  And,  having  induced 
some  of  our  citizens  to  embark  their  fortunes  in  this  move  against 
slavery,  I  have  felt  it  my  highest  duty  to  keep  them  upon  safe  and 
legal  grounds.  The  Radicals  propose  a  fundamental  change  in  our 
Government,  and  in  a  way  not  prescribed  by  the  Constitution,  but 
in  violation  of  it.  The  distinguished  head  and  front  of  the  Radical 
Abolitionists,  the  Hon.  Gerrit  Smith,  in  his  late  Chicago  speech, 
expressly  declares  the  move  a  "revolutionary"  one.  Now,  looking 
upon  Mr.  Fee's  position  as  such,  I  am  against  it;  and,  whilst  I 
denounce  all  mobs,  I  can  give  him  neither  "aid  nor  comfort."  To 
talk  of  maintaining  the  liberty  of  speech  in  such  connection,  with- 
out indorsing  his  doctrines,  is  absurd.  Such  a  propagandism  in  a 
slave  State  is  not  a  thing  of  "speech"  or  debate,  but  a  state  of 
revolution  and  insurrection  against  "the  powers  that  be." 

If  there  is  "no  law,"  moral,  divine,  nor  human,  to  hold  the 
slave,  then  the  slave  is  as  free  as  the  master.  If  the  slave  is  as 
free  as  the  master,  he  has  a  right  to  resist  the  master.  If  he  slays 
the  master,  he  is  acting  under  moral  and  legal  self-defense,  and  not 
only  does  not  deserve  punishment  by  the  courts  or  otherwise;  but 
can  demand,  and  ought  to  receive,  "aid  and  comfort"  from  every 
Radical  Abolitionist  the  world  over.  If  all  this  is  not  ' '  insurrec- 
tionary and  revolutionary,"  and  indictable,  and  punishable  with 
death  under  our  statutes,  whenever  an  overt  act  on  the  part  of  the 
slave  shall  give  fact  to  theory,  then  I  know  nothing  of  law  or  logic. 
To  all  this  I  am  opposed  —  now,  in  the  past,  and  in  the  future. 
First,  because  I  am  in  favor  of  a  peaceable  and  fraternal  solution  of 
the  slave  question.  History  teaches  me  that  political  institutions 
grow,  and  are  not  made;  and  sudden  changes  have  always  been  the 
cause  of  a  retrocession,  and  not  progress.  I  am  ready  to  make 
sacrifices,  not  for  a  coup  de  mam,  but  for  the  gradual  and  stable 
advancement  of  civilization  and  humanity.  Second,  because  my 
regard  for  the  black  race  would  lead  me  to  deprecate  an  issue 
which,  in  my  judgment,  would  drive  them  to  the  wall.  Third,  be- 
cause, if  such  issue  as  extermination  should  ever  threaten  either  race, 
I  am  for  my  own,  the  white  race,  against  all  other  races  on  earth. 

I    have   thus   answered    you    frankly  and    fully.       I    stand    now, 


236  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

sake,  do  not  tell  Sumner  about  the  'bad  egg-"  The 
truth  is,  those  two  words  expressed  more  than  ordinary 
men  could  put  in  many  sentences. 

We  all  know  Mr.  Lincoln  was  not  learned  in  books ; 
but  he  had  a  higher  education  in  actual  life  than  most  of 
his  compeers.  I  have  always  placed  him  first  of  all  the 
men  of  the  times  in  common  sense.  He  was  not  a  great 
projector  —  not    a   great    pioneer  —  hence    not   in    the    first 

where  I  have  always  stood,  upon  Republican  ground  —  the  rule 
of  the  majority,  and  constitutional  opposition  to  slavery.  And, 
having  spent  fortune  and  lost  friends  and  caste,  and  repeatedly 
risked  my  life  in  defense  of  the  constitutional  liberty  of  the  whole 
human  race,  I  feel  that  I  can  afford  to  look  with  contempt  upon 
the  idea  that  I  am  "slackening  in  my  zeal,"  because  I  do  not 
choose  to  follow  the  lead  of  every  one  who,  however  conscientious, 
may  jeopard  a  good  cause  by  fanaticism  or  folly.  With  regard  to 
Mr.  Fee,  personally,  I  entertain  toward  him  the  most  friendly 
feelings.  I  consider  him  honest  and  godly,  as  you  say.  He  is 
a  man  of  ability  and  pure  mind.  In  the  wide  verge  of  life,  des- 
tiny separates  us ;  he,  and  those  who  act  with  him,  must  reap  the 
good  and  evil  of  their  deeds ! 

Your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.  Clay. 
Rev.  Jas.  S.  Davis,  Cabin  Creek,  etc. ,  Ky. 

From  the   Cincinnati  Commercial. 
CASSIUS    M.    CLAY    ON    KENTUCKY    MOBS. 

We  have  received  the  following  from  Mr.  Clay  for  publication. 
It  is  a  copy  of  a  letter  directed  to  the  Richmond  Messenger : 

December  28,    1859. 
Editor  Richmond  Messenger: 


v->i 


I  saw  to-day,  for  the  first  time,  my  name  used  in  connection 
with  the  Lynch-law  proceedings  of  the  late  meeting  of  slave-holders 
in  Richmond,   in  the  following  editorial  of  yours: 

"The  Frankfort  Yeoman  learns  that  Cassius  M.  Clay  has  ex- 
pressed himself  decidedly  opposed  to  the  opinions  of  Fee  and  his 
associates,    and  that   they  ought  to  be  expelled  from  the  State." 

It  is  well  known  that,  on  the  4th  of  July,  from  the  stump, 
three  years  ago,    I   denounced   the    doctrine  of  the   ' '  Radical  Abo- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  237 

rank  of  thinkers  among  men;  but,  as  an  observer  of  men 
and  measures,  he  was  patient,  conservative,  and  of  sure 
conclusions.  I  do  not  say  that  more  heroic  surgery  might 
not  have  put  down  the  Rebellion;  but  it  is  plain  that 
Lincoln  was  a  man  fitted  for  the  leadership  at  a  time 
when  men  differed  so  much  about  the  ends  as  well  as 
the  methods  of  the  war.  The  anti-slavery  element  in 
these    States    was    never,    and    is    not    now,    great.       The 

litionists,"  and  the  Rev.  John  G.  Fee,  that  "there  is  no  law  for 
Slavery," — and  again,  in  a  letter  addressed  through  the  press  to 
Rev.  James  Davis,  I  repeated  my  disavowal  of  any  such  political 
sentiment  on  my  part.  I  have  again  and  again  declared  that, 
whilst  I  was  willing  to  defend  the  liberty  of  speech  and  the  press 
"to  the  uttermost,"  as  the  duty  which  I,  in  common  with  every 
citizen  of  this  commonwealth,  and  this  nation  of  freemen,  owed  to 
my  country  —  that  I  did  not  believe  the  "radical  doctrine"  right, 
and,  therefore,  I  would  not  jeopard  my  life  in  any  such  false  issue. 
And  this  I  said  to  Mr.  Fee  in  private,  long  before  our  public  sepa- 
ration. But,  on  the  other  side,  I  have  never  said  that  Fee,  or  any 
other  man,  or  set  of  men,  ought  to  be  expelled  from  the  State.  I 
have  always  said  that  if  the  Radicals,  Fee,  or  any  other  man,  or  set 
of  men  violated  the  laws,  that  I  would  aid  in  bringing  them  to  pun- 
ishment; and  that  if  there  was  no  law  to  punish  the  holding  or 
avowing  Radical  views  in  a  commonwealth  holding  slaves,  that  the 
slave-holders  had  the  political  power,  let  them  pass  a  law  to  meet 
the  case.  I  am  now,  ever  have  been,  and  ever  shall  be,  the  sworn 
enemy  to  mobs,  as  the  worst  kind  of  all  possible  despotisms! 

So  far  as  the  Lynch-law  Committee,  through  their  organ,  R. 
R.  Stone,  strikes  at  me  as  a  "faction"  and  a  "Republican,"  I 
regard  it  as  "fair  play  in  politics."  I  court  full  and  fair  discussion 
and  scrutiny  of  the  principles  and  aims  of  the  "Republican  Party." 
I  have  not  yet  learned  to  weigh  my  opinions  by  what  numbers  may 
say  or  think.  I  ask  myself,  am  I  right?  and,  when  I  feel  that  I  am, 
I  shall  not  be  driven  from  my  constitutional  privilege  of  avowal 
whenever  it  may  suit  my  good  pleasure,  although  the  Lynch-law 
Committee  may  not  be  able  to  sleep  with  "doors  unbolted." 

The  "Republican  Party"  may  not  be  large  enough  to  meet  the 
wide  vision  of  the  Madison  Lynchers ;  but  it  is  large  enough  to  stand 
by  all  its  convictions,  and  defend  all  its  rights,  whenever  with  speech, 
the  pen,  or  the  sword,  it  is  attacked  by  despots!  C.  M.  Clay. 


238  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

Americans,  like  the  English,  are  ever  much  in  favor  of 
their  own  liberty.  Only  when  the  slave-power  projected 
universal  dominion  was  the  North  aroused ;  and  only  when 
it  was  the  death  of  Slavery,  or  the  death  of  the  Union, 
did  the  great  mass  of  Americans  assent  to  its  destruction. 
So  Lincoln  was  not  indifferent  to  slavery,  as  some  of  his 
superficial  critics  assert;  but  he  was  a  type  of  the  ma- 
jority of  Americans  who,  whilst  conscious  of  the  evils  of 
slavery,  were  not  yet  so  enthusiastic  as  to  desire  to  grap- 
ple with  its  difficulties.  But  Lincoln  was  not  only  wise, 
but  good.  He  was  not  only  good,  but  eminently  patriotic. 
He  was  the  most  honest  man  that  I  ever  knew.  Relig- 
iously, he  was  an  agnostic ;  but  practically,  as  the  respon- 
sibilities of  his  position  increased,  his  devotion  to  duty 
increased.  So,  like  the  great  leaders  of  all  times,  he  be- 
came more  conscious  of  the  weakness  of  Man  and  the 
power  of  God. 

These  sentiments  are  variously  characterized  —  with 
Cyrus,  it  was  the  gods ;  with  Caesar  and  Napoleon,  it 
was  individuality  and  destiny;  and,  with  Lincoln,  it  grew 
more  and  more  into  a  lively  belief  in  the  personal  gov- 
ernment of  God.  This  I  inferred  not  so  much  from  his 
words  as  his  acts,  and  that  sad  submission  to  events  and 
close  observance  of  duty  which  seemed  to  rise  above  all 
human  power  over  events.  I  think,  therefore,  that  mo- 
rality and  religion  gain  nothing  by  a  perversion  of  facts ; 
and  the  noblest  heroism  of  all  the  ages  has  followed  close 
onto  Theism.  For  then  are  the  highest  faculties  of  the 
mind,  and  the  noblest  aspirations  of  the  soul,  moving  in 
the  same  direction  to  the  grandest  results  of  human 
achievements.  Lincoln's  death  only  added  to  the  grand- 
eur of  his  figure ;  and,  in  all  our  history,  no  man  will  as- 
cend higher  on  the  steep  where  — 

"Fame's  proud  temple  shines  afar." 

I  also  denounced  the  Know-Nothing  Party;  and,  by  in- 
vitation, spoke  to  a  great  audience  at  Chicago,  Illinois. 


CHAPTER  XIII. 


Origin  of  the  Republican  Party. — The  Revolutionary  Committee  of  my 
County. —  My  Letter  to  the  Citizens  of  Madison  County. — Turmoil  in 
Kentucky. — Remarks  of  the  St.  Louis  "Democrat." — Another  Triumph 
for  Free  Speech. — Letter  to  the  Louisville  "Journal." — Testimonial 
to  Mrs.  C.  M.  Clay. — Interview  with  Wm.  H.  Seward. — Resolutions  of 
the  Young  Men's  Republican  Union  of  New  York.— President  Lincoln's 
first  Cabinet. — Promised  the  Secretary  of  War  Portfolio,  I  am  offered 
the  Mission  to  Spain. — I  refuse,  but  accept  the  Mission  to  Russia. 


THE  Slave-power,  by  trying  to  carry  slavery  into  Kan- 
sas by  force,  showed  the  ultimate  design  of  cutting 
the  free  States,  with  a  line  of  slave  States  to  the  Canada 
line,  from  all  possible  extension  toward  the  great  West 
and  Mexico.  In  this  they  were  defeated.  And  again, 
when  they  could  not  force  the  Lecompton  Constitution,  in 
Kansas,  down  the  throats  of  an  unwilling  people,  they 
more  than  ever  shattered  the  old  parties,  and  consolidated 
the  opposition  to  that  power  in  the  newly-named  Repub- 
lican Party. 

Edward  Bates  of  Missouri,  W.  H.  Seward  of  New 
York,  S.  P.  Chase  of  Ohio,  and  Abraham  Lincoln  of  Illi- 
nois, were  the  most  prominent  candidates  on  our  side. 
John  Bell  of  Tennessee  and  Edward  Everett  of  Massa- 
chusetts, as  Presidential  and  Vice-Presidential  candidates, 
led  the  forlorn  hope  of  the  old  Whigs ;  whilst  Jefferson 
Davis  of  Mississippi,  S.  A.  Douglas  of  Illinois,  and  John  C. 
Breckinridge  of  Kentucky,  were  the   Democratic  aspirants. 

I  took  great  interest,  of  course,  in  the  coming  Conven- 
tion  of  the   Republicans   at  Chicago.  *      I    had   been  quite 

*  I  might  fill  a  volume  with  the  support  which  I  received  from 
the  press,  and  the  advanced  intellects  of  my  times,  in  the  winter 
of  1859-60,  during  my  struggles  for  the  maintenance  of  free 
speech.      No   one   knows  the  whole   matter  so  well   as  myself;  but 

239 


24O  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

intimate  with  S.  P.  Chase,  an  able  and  pure  patriot.  I  had 
also  been  long  a  correspondent  with  Wm.  H.  Seward.  By 
the  rotten  borough  system  of  allowing  votes  in  Convention 
to  States  which  stand  no  chance  of  electoral  strength,  I  had 
a  large  following  in  Kentucky,  the  other  border  States, 
in  Western  Virginia,  and  several  of  the  Northern  States, 
where  I  had  spoken  so  often.     So  I  was  much  courted  by 

I  refrain  from  renewing  old  enmities,  seeing  that  I  stand,  whilst 
they  fell.  It  gives  me  great  pleasure,  however,  to  here  perpetu* 
ate  the  language  of  the  famous  editor  of  the  Louisville  Journal — 
George  D.  Prentice,  Esq.  — a  man  unrivalled  in  his  day  for  ge- 
nius in  journalism,  who  so  ably  and  promptly  stood  on  my  side; 
and  his  own  noble  sentiments,  whenever  the  galling  chains  of 
party  fealty  allowed. 

From  the  Louisville  Journal,   April  4,    i860. 
CASSIUS    M.    CLAY'S   APPEAL. 

We  have  been  requested  by  C.  M.  Clay,  as  an  act  of  justice 
alike  to  himself  and  to  the  community,  to  publish  the  following 
appeal  to  his  fellow-citizens  of  the  County  of  Madison.  We  feel 
bound  in  common  manliness,  if  nothing  higher  or  more  sacred,  to 
comply  with  Mr.    Clay's  request 

If,  however,  we  are  mistaken,  as  we  trust  we  are  not,  and  Mr. 
Clay's  conviction  is  well-founded,  we  presume,  without  hesitation, 
that  the  sober,  enlightened  citizens  of  Madison  will  extinguish  the 
guilty  project  in  its  very  conception.  They  certainly  owe  its  prompt 
extinction  to  themselves,  as  well  as  to  the  Commonwealth,  whose 
stainless  fame  its  execution  would  sully  for  all  time  to  come.  They 
owe  its  extinction  to  the  cause  of  regulated  liberty  here  and  every- 
where else.  The  interests  of  civilization  and  of  society  demand  it 
of  them.  There  can  be  no  excuse  for  such  a  project.  None.  Mr. 
Clay  has  separated  himself  from  the  Radical  Abolitionists,  whose 
nefarious  sentiments  provoked  the  recent  lamentable,  though  per- 
haps necessary,  proceedings  in  Madison  County,  by  a  line  so  broad 
and  distinct,  and  so  frequently  and  clearly  touched,  that  nobody  can 
fail  to  recognize  it. 

He  long  ago  cut  entirely  loose  from  these  fanatical  outlaws. 
He  has  time  and  again  disowned  their  views  and  their  purposes. 
He  now  solemnly  disclaims  all  responsibility  for  their  action.  He 
proclaims  himself  strictly  and  purely  a  Republican.      As  such,   and 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  24I 

the  aspirants  for  the  Presidency.  Between  Seward  and 
Chase  I  felt  bound  to  stand  neutral,  as  they  were  mutual 
friends,  and  equally  qualified  for  office.  I  made  a  visit  to 
Washington,  and  was  invited  to  dine  with  Seward  ;  which 
I  did.  He  showed  me  the  speech  which  he  had  elabo- 
rately written  out  for  delivery  in  the  Senate,  as  a  cam- 
paign* document,  and   asked   my  criticism.     In  this  speech 

as  a  loyal  citizen,  he  plants  himself  in  the  shadow  of  the  Consti- 
tution and  the  laws,  and  asks  to  be  let  alone.  Assuming  the  cor- 
rectness of  his  statement,  which  we  take  to  be  indisputable,  the 
petition  is  a  just  one,  and  can  not  be  denied  him  without  casting 
ineffaceable  shame  on  the  community  and  the  State.  It  will  not 
be  denied  him.  It  can  not  be.  It  is  to  us  utterly  incredible  that 
any  respectable  citizen  of  Madison  has  ever  entertained  even  the 
thought  of  denying  him  so  plain  and  unquestionable  a  right: 

C.    M.    CLAY'S   APPEAL. 

Fellow-Citizens  of  Madison  County  :  —  Learning  from  a  re- 
liable source  that  the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  Madison  are 
about  to  meet  in  Richmond  again  on  next  Monday,  to  take  into 
consideration  who  are  to  be  proscribed,  and  having  understood 
that  I  only  escaped  their  denunciation  last  Tuesday  by  a  small 
majority,  and  that  I  am  again  to  be  considered  on  Monday,  I 
avail  myself  of  this  means  of  making  my  protest  and  defense.  I 
would  greatly  prefer  always  to  meet  my  accusers  face  to  face, 
and  there  make  my  defense ;  but,  as  friends  have  insisted  on  my 
avoiding  any  pretense  for  a  conflict,  I  yield  to  their  wishes,  and 
make  this  written  appeal.  In  the  first  place,  I,  as  a  free  citizen 
of  a  Constitutional  Commonwealth,  most  solemnly  protest  against 
any  power  on  earth  but  the  legal  and  regularly  constituted  authori- 
ties of  my  country  to  decide  in  any  manner  upon  my  "life,  lib- 
erty, or  property."  I  regard,  all  impartial  men  will  regard,  him 
as  the  worst  enemy  of  true  liberty  who  acquiesces  in  any  usurpa- 
tion, on  the  part  of  any  man  or  set  of  men,  of  the  sovereign 
power  of  the  State.  If  every  man  in  Madison  would  assent  to 
the  usurpation,  it  would  be  none  the  less  an  overthrow  of  the 
Constitution;  which  can  be  annulled,  set  aside,  changed,  or  dis- 
obeyed with  impunity  only  by  the  legal  representatives  of  the 
people  in  convention  assembled.  But,  according  to  the  known 
facts,  but  about  a  fourth  of  the  county  signed  the  papers  protest- 
Vol.  I.  — 16 


242  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

it  will  be  seen  that  he  took  the  ground  that  he  was  for 
the  Union,  slave  or'  free.  Now,  as  the  war  had  already 
virtually  broken  out  in  Kansas  to  make  all  slave  or  free 
States,  I  did  not  see  the  necessity  of  making  a  great 
party,  and  a  great  to-do  about  slavery,  if  we  were  to 
end  where  we  began.  I  read  his  speech  very  carefully, 
and   said  nothing.     The   truth  was,   it  killed  SewarM  with 

ing  against  the  doctrines  and  action  of  the  "Radical  Abolition- 
ists"—  Rev.  John  G.  Fee  and  others.  And  it  is  well  known  that 
a  very  large  number  of  those  signing  that  paper  were  and  are 
utterly  opposed  to  any  other  than  legal  proceedings  against  those 
unhappy  men,  women,  and  children.  So  that  the  Committee  have 
not  the  show  of  authority,  three-fourths  of  the  county  having  ab- 
solutely refused,  amid  threats  of  intimidation  on  the  part  of  the 
movers,  to  sanction  their  illegal  action.  But,  waiving  all  these 
considerations,  I  do  not  fear  to  plead  to  you  on  the  merits  of  my 
cause.  If  it  was  a  crime  to  resist  the  will  and  action  of  this  revo- 
lutionary movement,  I  have  not  done  even  that,  except  by  the 
high  moral  power  of  an  earnest  protest;  refusing  to  join  by  force 
of  arms  in  a  common  defense  with  the  exiles.  My  reasons  for 
this  are  these:  I  regarded  the  radical  doctrine  that  "there  is  no 
law  for  slavery"   as  revolutionary. 

To  deny  the  potency  of  the  Constitution  and  the  laws,  is  to 
set  up  an  independent  government  in  opposition  to  the  existing 
government  and  laws;  the  two  necessary  policies  and  jurisdictions 
of  which  must  inevitably  at  last  come  into  physical  conflict.  And 
whilst  I  am  opposed  to  slavery  on  all  possible  grounds,  my  love  and 
respect  for  my  constitution  and  my  country  override  all  other  polit- 
ical considerations.  My  theory  is,  that  slavery  is  a  creature  of  law, 
and  the  subject  of  support,  modification,  increase,  or  destruction,  as 
any  other  policy,  and  to  be  reached  in  the  same  way  only  —  by 
moral  suasion,  by  speeches,  by  the  press,  by  the  law,  and  by  the 
constitution.  That  so  long  as  it  constitutes  property,  by  laws  — 
those  laws  must  be  respected  and  enforced  in  good  faith.  That 
the  majority  have  the  right  to  rule,  because  we  know  of  no  other 
or  better  way  of  promoting  the  ends  of  the  government  —  the  safety 
and  happiness  of  the  whole  of  the  governed.  That,  if  the  slave- 
holders thus  rule,  we  will  acquiesce ;  and,  if  we  thus  rule,  they  must 
acquiesce.  And  therefore  the  Republicans  in  Kentucky  have  been 
opposed   to,    and   have    steadily  denounced,   any  illegal  interference 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  243 

me  forever!  He  was  full  of  confidence,  seemed  to  as- 
sume my  support,  and  asked  me  to  go  and  see  Thurlow 
Weed,  at  Albany,  New  York.  Holding,  with  John  Quincy 
Adams,  that,  when  a  war  with  or  for  the  States  should 
break  out,  it  was  one  of  the  essential  powers  of  national 
existence  to  organize  all  its  forces  for  self-preservation, 
I    believed    we    had    a    right    to    destroy  slavery.      And   it 

with  slaves,  from  at  home  or  abroad;  they  have  given  no  counte- 
nance to  the  escape  of  slaves,  to  insubordination,  or  to  servile  in- 
surrection. Hence,  on  the  4th  of  July,  1856,  at  the  Slate  Lick 
Springs,  in  this  county,  when  the  Rev.  John  G.  Fee  avowed  from 
the  stump  the  Radical  Abolition  doctrine,  I  denounced  it  from  the 
stump.  He  was  Corresponding  Secretary  of  the  Central  Republican 
Club  at  our  first  meeting  in  Richmond.  He  was  displaced,  and  a 
Republican  elected  in  his  stead.  When  he  was  mobbed  in  several 
places,  when  his  co-laborer,  Rev.  James  S.  Davis,  asked  my  aid  in 
defending  Mr.  Fee,  I  addressed  a  letter,  dated  October  8,  1857, 
declining  to  identify  myself  in  any  way  with  Mr.  Fee's  doctrine  or 
action.  These  letters  were  first  published  in  the  Washington  Re- 
public, in  the  face  of  the  world,  and  were  republished  in  the  Louis- 
ville Journal  and  other  Kentucky  papers.  Again,  when  the  move- 
ment was  made  against  the  Bereans,  I  took  the  same  neutral  ground, 
in  letters  addressed  to  the  Richmond  Messenger,  and  to  the  Cincin- 
nati papers,  one  only  of  which  was  published  in  the  Cincinnati 
Commercial,  dated  White  Hall,  Kentucky,  December  28,  i860,  but 
which,  I  know  not  by  what  means,  failed  to  reach  Judge  Field 
until  the  Monday  following ;  and,  the  exiles  being  gone,  I  went 
into  the  Messenger  office  and  took  it  away,  as  the  occasion  for  its 
publication  had  passed.  Again,  when  I  heard  that  J.  G.  Hanson, 
one  of  the  exiles,  had  returned,  I  went  on  Friday  last  to  the  house 
of  Alexander  McWilliams,  where  we  talked  the  matter  over,  and 
we  coincided  in  opinion,  as  we  always  had  done,  that  our  friends 
should  separate  their  fortunes  altogether  from  Hanson  and  his 
party.  On  Saturday,  with  Jno.  H.  Rawlings,  I  went  to  Berea, 
and  there  used  all  my  influence  to  persuade  my  Republican  friends 
not  to  identify  themselves  at  all  in  any  manner  with  Hanson,  but 
to  ask  him  to  sell  his  mill  and  move  from  the  State,  as  his  pres- 
ence would  be  a  continual  source  of  discontent,  and  might  possibly 
involve  the  Republicans  in  a  conflict,  when  innocent  men  might  be 
killed.       I    stayed   all   night  with  William    Stapp,   where   the   same 


244  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

was  my  purpose  to  do  so ;  believing  that  there  could  be 
no  liberty,  even  for  the  whites,  in  coexistence  with  this 
barbarism. 

In  the  meantime,  the  Blairs  were  for  Edward  Bates,  a 
respectable  old  Whig  of  Missouri.  They  invited  me  to 
their  residence  at  the  Silver  Springs,  in  Maryland ;  and, 
without  ceremony,  said,   if  I  would  go  for  Bates,   I  should 

views  were  uttered  and  concurred  in.  I  returned  again  through 
Berea,  enforced  with  a  parting  word  the  same  advice ;  and  was 
leaving  for  home,  when  Mr.  Hanson  hallooed.  I  stopped,  and 
Mr.  Rawlings  introduced  him  to  me.  He  asked  me  what  was 
the  public  feeling  toward  him  ?  I  replied  that  I  would  speak 
frankly  with  him ;  that  I  was,  as  he  knew,  opposed  to  his  polit- 
ical principles,  and  could  not  stand  by  him  in  any  way,  but  that 
my  personal  feelings  were  kind  toward  him ;  that  I  had  not  talked 
with  the  Committee,  but  I  had  heard  things  spoken  in  their  con- 
fidence, and  that  the  feeling  of  bitterness  against  him  was  greater 
than  ever  on  account  of  his  return ;  and  I  hoped  that  he  would 
leave  the  State  for  his  own  safety,  as  well  as  to  avoid  the  possible 
fight  between  my  friends  and  the  Committee,  because  of  his  pres- 
ence. He  remarked  that  he  had  found  no  fault  with  me ;  that 
every  one  must  stand  on  his  own  convictions;  and  that  "every 
dog  has  his  day." 

Taking  leave  of  him,  I  went  to  Kingston,  where  I  stayed  all 
night  with  Whitt  Moody.  Whilst  there,  Messrs.  Broaddus  and 
Newland  came  in  to  see  me,  when  I  expressed  the  same  views. 
I  sent  for  Geo.  W.  Maupin,  an  old  hunting  companion,  to  spend 
the  night  with  us,  and  have  a  friendly  talk  about  the  whole  matter, 
as  I  knew  he  was  one  of  the  Committee,  and  had  acted  the  part 
of  a  peace-maker  when  Tony  was  attacked  in  the  first  raid  to  Berea, 
as  I  was  told.  I  then  explained  to  Mr.  Maupin,  in  the  presence 
of  Mr.  Si.  Newland  and  Whitt  Moody,  my  whole  position,  as  he 
had  not  read  my  Frankfort  speech.  I  told  him  that  he  was  one 
of  a  Revolutionary  Committee ;  that  I  should  not  interfere  with 
their  action  if  they  confined  themselves  to  the  expulsion  of  the 
"Radicals;"  but,  if  the  Committee  attacked  the  Republicans  on 
account  of  principles,  that  we  would  defend  ourselves  to  the  last ; 
and  that  in  such  defense  would  shoot  him,  Reuben  Monday,  Ter- 
rill,  or  any  other  one  of  the  Committee  who  aided  and  abetted 
any  assassination  of  any  of  my  party.     That  I  was  for  peace;  that 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  245 

be  made  Secretary  of  War.  Now,  for  Henry  Clay  to  be 
suspected  of  going  for  John  Q.  Adams,  in  consideration 
of  being  made  Secretary  of  State,  was  infamous ;  but  to 
bargain  for  another  cabinet  office  was  quite  patriotic !  The 
truth  is,  any  combination  of  men  for  a  great  purpose,  if 
that  purpose  is  promoted  by  individual  elevation,  is  not 
only  admissible,  but   wise.     And   these   gentlemen   had  the 

I  told  our  friends  at  Berea  that  whoever  stood  in  defense  of  Han- 
son, would  do  so  at  his  own  risk,  and  we  would  not  stand  by 
him;  but  that,  if  they  cleared  themselves  of  Hanson,  and  were 
attacked  in  their  own  right,  we  would  make  a  common  cause  — 
we  would   take  to   the  woods,  and  defend   ourselves   to   the  death. 

This,  men  of  Madison,  is  my  whole  connection  with  the  Radi- 
cals at  Berea;  all  the  time  against  their  doctrines;  all  the  time  for 
the  peace  and  the  safety  of  the  community. 

On  Monday  night  I  stayed  with  my  sister,  Mrs.  Smith.  On 
Tuesday,  hearing  that  the  excitement  was  mostly  against  me,  and 
that  I  was  thought  to  have  dictated  the  letter  of  Hanson  to  Judge 
Field,  with  a  view  to  bring  about  a  war,  I  made  my  remarks  at 
the  court-house  to  clear  the  popular  mind  of  all  misapprehensions. 
The  falsehood  of  the  whole  allegation  is  apparent,  when  you  will 
see  by  the  letter  to  Judge  Field  that  it  is  dated  on  the  13th 
instant  —  two  weeks  ago  —  when  I  had  neither  seen  nor  known 
Hanson,  nor  been  at  Berea  since  my  Northern  tour,  and  therefore 
could  not  possibly  have  had  any  intercourse  with  him  whatever. 
Now  it  turns  out  just  as  I  expected  —  from  what  Mr.  Newton  said 
in  Richmond  last  Wednesday,  in  the  presence  of  G.  W.  Maupin 
and  others  —  that  the  Republicans  had  nothing  to  do  with  Hanson, 
were  for  peace,  and  fought  in  their  own  defense.  The  Repub- 
licans of  Berea  say  that  their  houses  were  rudely  searched  (which 
was  admitted  to  me  by  one  of  the  party) ;  and  I  give  you  here  a 
copy  of  a  letter  written  to  me  by  Messrs.  Bland  and  Haley,  stating 
the  whole  cause  of  the  difficulty,  which  original  letter,  signed  by 
them,   and  by  H.   Rawlings,   can  be  seen  by  calling  upon  me: 

Berea,  in  the  evening,  March  30,  i860. 
My  friend,  C.  M.  Clay:  —  I  drop  a  few  lines  to  you  stating  the  facts  con- 
cerning the  fight.  In  the  first  place,  it  was  not  brought  about  over  Hanson  ;  but 
over  the  treatment  of  George  West.  The  Committee  went  to  his  house  on  the 
hunt  for  Hanson.  West  is  in  the  last  stage  of  consumption,  and  told  his  daughter 
to  shut  the  door;  and  they  broke  the  door  down,  and  they  cuffed  and  abused  West 
and  his  daughter ;  and  we  went  to  see  West,   with  no  view  of  seeing  any  of   them. 


246  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

higher  end  in  view.  But  I  knew  nothing  of  Bates'  prin- 
ciples ;  and  I  as  frankly  declined  to  support  him.  For 
this  I  lost  favor  with  the  Blairs.  I  concluded,  however, 
to  go  to  Albany,  and  did  so ;  where  I  met  Thurlow  Weed, 
the  renowned  camp-follower.  He,  of  course,  had  been  ad- 
vised of  my  coming,  and  received  me  in  a  gushing  way; 
but,  having  made  up  my  mind  that  not  only  Seward  ought 

We  met  them,  and  I  begged  for  peace,  and  did  all  I  could  to  obtain  it.  I  in- 
tended to  take  your  good  advice.  Frank  Bland  and  Green  Haley. 

Here,  men  of  Madison,  are  some  of  the  facts,  but  not  all  of 
the  facts  —  the  language  to  the  daughter  of  West  was  too  gross  for 
the  public  eye,  and  I  therefore  suppress  it;  nor  were  these  the  only 
outrages.  A  similar  offense  to  the  children  of  the  poor  brought  on 
a  revolution  in  that  kingdom  from  which  we  draw  our  blood  and 
our  love  of  liberty.  The  story  will  sink  deep  into  the  hearts  of 
thirty  millions  of  Americans.  The  battle  of  the  26th  day  of  March 
will  never  be  forgotten  in  the  annals  of  the  nation ! 

You  may  drive  these  men  into  the  mountains ;  you  may  burn 
their  houses ;  you  may  hunt  them  down  like  wild  beasts,  till  the 
last  one  falls  by  superior  force ;  but  their  cause  is  the  cause  of 
American  liberty,  and  of  the  noblest  instincts  of  human  nature. 
Their  martyrdom  will  light  up  the  fires  of  civil  war,  which  will  per- 
vade the  Union,  and  be  extinguished  only  by  the  downfall  of  one 
or  the  other  of  these  great  powers,  Liberty  or  Slavery,  forever! 
Men  of  Madison,  /  stand  by  these  men  —  I  stand  by  the  Constitution 
and  laws  of  my  native  State  —  I  stand  by  the  Republican  Party 
every-where  —  I  stand  by  the  liberties  which  I  inherited  from  our 
fathers,  and  which  my  own  blood  has,  from  the  beginning  of  the 
Revolution  of  1776  to  this  hour,  in  every  battle-field,  been  ready 
to  defend.  I  stand,  in  a  word,  on  my  Frankfort  speech  of  the  10th 
of  January,  i860,  which  I  desire  to  place  before  the  world  as  the 
ground  of  my  faith  and  of  my  action.  /  shall  in  no  way  whatever 
recognize  or  submit  to  any  Revolutionary  Committee. 

At  my  country's  call  I  have  freely  risked  my  life  in  her  de- 
fense ;  two  years  in  exile  from  my  home  and  family ;  nine  months 
in  a  foreign  prison ;  ready  at  all  times  to  sacrifice  money,  health, 
and  even  life  itself,  I  have  brought  back  an  unsullied  name  to  the 
place  of  my  birth,  and  which  you  were  not  the  last  to  welcome  as 
the  common  glory  of  our  State.  You  may  be  strong  enough  to 
overpower  me ;   you  can  not  drive  me  from  the  duty  which  I  owe 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  247 

not  to  be  the  nominee,  but  could  not  be,  I  desired  to 
make  combinations  which  should  be  useful  to  my  friend, 
should  I  decide  for  one.  Weed  talked  all  I  wanted ;  but, 
as  I  had  no  faith  in  his  talk,  I  reduced  some  propositions 
to  writing  which  would  commit  him  and  friends,  in  case 
of  Seward's  defeat  in  Chicago,  to  me  and  my  friends. 
To  this  the  camp-follower  never  replied.  So  I  left  Al- 
to myself,  to  my  friends,  and  to  my  country.  If  I  fall,  I  trust  I 
shall  not  fall  in  vain ;  and  it  will  be  enough  for  all  my  long-cherished 
aspirations  if,  perchance,  my  blood  shall  atone  for  the  wrongs  of 
my  race,  and  these  States  shall  at  last  be  free  ! 

C.   M.   Clay. 
White  Hall,  Ky,  March  31,   i860. 

LETTER    FROM   C.    M.    CLAY. 

White  Hall,   Ky. ,   March  29,    i860. 
To  the  Editor  of  the  Louisville  Journal — 

The  secret  purpose  of  the  leaders  of  the  attack  upon  the  ' '  Radi- 
cals" at  Berea  was  to  suppress  Republicanism  in  Kentucky,  and 
aimed  more  especially  at  me.  Knowing  that  I  relied  upon  the 
justice  of  my  cause,  and  the  irreproachable  and  patriotic  purposes 
of  my  whole  action  in  the  Commonwealth,  I  in  good  faith  cut  my- 
self away  from  the  revolutionary  doctrines  of  the  "Radical  Aboli- 
tionists," and  the  unfortunate  purposes  of  those  who  in  their  persons 
made  an  armed  insurrection  against  the  non-slaveholding  whites  of 
the  Commonwealth.  The  proposition  that  the  Legislature  should, 
as  it  could  constitutionally  do,  enact  a  law  to  meet  the  difficulty, 
and  thus  avoid  all  violence,  was  met  by  the  Radical  Abolitionists 
of  the  North,  and  their  enemies  here,  with  equal  denunciation. 
The  reason  alleged  was,  that  it  was  useless  to  drive  off  these  non- 
resistants  whilst  I  was  left  to  agitate  the  slavery  question !  And  it 
is  well  known  that  my  personal  and  political  enemies  desired  to  in- 
clude me  in  the  proscription !  Nothing  but  the  friendship  of  some 
of  the  Committee  (when  the  proposition  was  made,)  and  the  con- 
servatism of  the  county  prevented.  Finding  that  they  did  not  get 
a  safe  opportunity  to  attack  the  Republicans  through  the  Radicals, 
whom  they  supposed  would  be  defended  by  us,  they  kept  up  their 
threats  against  me  till  my  Frankfort  speech  rallied  around  me  all 
the  true  lovers  of  constitutional  liberty,  and  thwarted  for  the  time 
their  criminal  designs.      Every  thing  that    I   have  said  offensive  to 


248  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

bany  uncommitted  to  any  one.  It  is  useless  to  add,  that 
from  that  day  to  the  death  of  both  these  men,  they  were 
my  implacable  enemies. 

S.  P.  Chase  was  now  my  first  choice;  but  "Bluff  Ben. 
Wade,"  who  was  another  trickster,  and  who  envied  Chase's 
high  character  and  fame,  set  up  for  himself  to  divide  the 
Ohio  delegation,  and  thus  throw  Chase  out  of  the  contest. 
It  was  now  Lincoln  or  Bates ;  and,  of  course,  I  was  for 
Lincoln. 

the  slave-holding  interest  has  been  studiously  paraded  in  the  press 
and  elsewhere,  and  calumny  added,  both  by  the  slave-holders  and 
the  Radical  Abolitionists  of  the  North,  to  consummate  my  ruin  and 
the  downfall  of  the  cause  of  liberty  here. 

J.  G.  Hanson,  one  of  the  expelled  Bereans,  returned  to  Ken- 
tucky, his  native  State,  on  the  $d  day  of  this  month,  as  published  in 
a  letter  to  the  Centreville  (Ind.)  Republican.  The  mob  again  threat- 
ening him  but  faintly,  he  retired  —  which  was  well  known  here  in 
all  circles  —  to  the  mountains  for  a  while ;  and  then  was  generally 
at  Berea,  having  preached  and  attended  Sunday-school  more  than 
once.  But  so  soon  as  it  was  known  that  I  was  in  Berea  on  Satur- 
day, a  great  excitement  was  got  up,  and  stories  circulated  that  I 
was  there  marshaling  my  forces  against  the  revolutionary  tribunal. 
By  Sunday  night  the  mob  had  taken  the  field;  and,  on  Monday, 
brought  on  the  collision  at  Berea,  by  "illegal  search"  of  the  houses 
of  citizens  there  without  warrant,  adding  insult  to  injury,  ostensibly 
to  find  Hanson,  but  in  reality  to  raise  a  row,  which  they  succeeded 
in  doing,  several  being  shot  on  both  sides.  And  the  Revolutionary 
Committee,  driven  back,  rallied  again  on  Tuesday;  and,  finding  no 
one;  broke  down  that  terrible  thing  —  the  saw-mill  —  and  declared 
vengeance  against  me  and  the  Republicans  who  were  engaged  in 
the  fight.  What  was  my  true  position?  Standing  on  the  doctrine 
of  my  Frankfort  speech,  I  advised  Mr.  Hanson  to  leave  the  State, 
and  thus  save  himself  and  my  friends  from  the  conflict  which  I  well 
knew  was  premeditated  by  the  Revolutionary  Committee.  On  Sun- 
day night  I  stayed  at  Kingston,  where  I  stated  the  whole  thing, 
and  my  message  of  peace  to  Berea,  to  several  slave-holders.  One 
of  the  Revolutionary  Committee  being  present,  I  was  then  informed 
by  that  committeeman  that  they  were  "after  mc  certainly"  —  that  I 
"was  the  one  wanted;"  and  it  was  currently  reported  that  a  special 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  249 

I  did  not  go  to  the  Convention,  and  had  no  idea  that 
I  would  be  nominated  for  President  or  Vice-President, 
though  many  friends  so  wrote  me ;  but  I  was  next  to 
Hannibal  Hamlin  of  Maine ;  and  all  say,  if  I  had  been 
there,  I  could  have  had  the  Vice-Presidential  nomination 
over  any  one.  But,  Lincoln  being  the  Presidential  nomi- 
nee, it  was  thought  prudent  to  allow  Seward's  friends  to 
name  the  Vice-President;  and,  Hamlin  of  Maine  being  a 
Northern   man,   and    Seward's    friend,    it    was   also   thought 

detachment  had  been  sent  to  "take  me"  wherever  found  —  which  the 
said  detachment  was  very  careful  not  to  do !  At  the  same  time  the 
old  letter  of  protest,  which  Hanson  wrote  on  the  10th  instant  to 
Judge  Field,  was  now  talked  of  as  being  dictated  by  me  at  Berea 
on  Saturday,  to  stir  up  the  community  to  madness,  and  execute 
vengeance  upon  me  without  time  for  truth  and  reflection.  On  Tues- 
day I  was,  no  doubt,  saved  from  this  ruse  only  by  timely  taking  the 
stump,  and  showing  the  true  people  of  Madison  what  I  had  really 
done ;  and  that  some  of  the  mob  knew  the  whole  thing  on  Monday, 
and  had  suppressed  it  with  a  view  of  connecting  me  with  stirring 
up  war  in  the  State !  The  Committee  well  know,  whilst  I  shall  not 
defend  the  Republicans  in  their  mad  purpose,  that  I  will  not  be 
driven  into  acquiescence  in  their  usurped  power,  nor  from  the  de- 
fense of  all  Republicans  who  are  attacked  in  their  person  or  property 
because  of  their  Republicanism.  They  desire  to  renew  the  fable  of 
the  wolf  and  the  lamb ;  and  by  the  committal  of  outrages  against 
my  friends,  which  I  am  pledged  to  resist,  to  consummate,  with  a 
show  of  public  justice,  their  own  criminal  designs  against  my  life 
and  cause.  I  publish  these  facts  that  all  honest  men  may  not  be 
deluded;  that  we  may  stand  or  fall  upon  our  merits;  and  not  be 
overwhelmed  with  clamor,  which  is  the  strong  weapon  of  mob  vio- 
lence always.  The  Governor  may  make  his  demonstration ;  the 
"  Minie  rifles"  and  "cannon"  may  come  on  to  extinguish  the  just 
indignation  of  outraged  freemen  in  vain.  Standing  upon  the  laws, 
the  Constitution,  and  our  own  patriotic  purposes,  we  shall  not  be 
intimidated  by  this  new  accession  of  power  in  the  suppression  of 
our  rights.  If  civil  war  is  begun,  it  will  be  begun  against  our  most 
earnest  implorations  of  the  forbearance  of  friends,  and  most  solemn 
protest  against  the  aggressions  of  enemies  of  the  common  liberties 
of  all !      If  blood  be  shed,  it  will  not  be  first  shed  by  us !      If  the 


25O  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

best  to  nominate  him,  and  not  me,  of  an  adjoining  State. 
I  was  well  content  with  the  result ;  and  entered  heartily  into 
the  contest. 

It  was  generally  talked  of  at  Chicago,  that  I  was  to  be 
made  Secretary  of  War;  and  Lincoln  himself  wrote  to  me 
to  that  effect.  He  also  wrote  me  a  letter  urging  me  to 
canvass  Indiana  for  him ;  which  I  did.  This  State  was 
then  Democratic ;  but  from  all  parts  of  Kentucky  for  long 

State  shall  fly  to  arms,  and  citizens  North  and  South  become  in- 
volved in  one  common  ruin,  let  those  who  shall  begin  the  conflict 
answer  for  the  end!  C.   M.   Clay. 

From  the  New    York   Times,   April,   i860. 
TURMOIL    IN    KENTUCKY. 

.     The  committee  then  dispatched  the  following  letter: 

Richmond,  March  30,  i860. 
Captain  John  Morgan,  Messrs.  Allen,  Goodloe,   Bruce,  and  Hunter  — 

Gentlemen  :  —  We  send  the  bearer  of  this  note,  requesting  you  to  send  us  a 
cannon.  We  are  in  a  serious  difficulty  with  the  Fee  party  in  our  county,  and  we 
need  a  cannon  to  whip  them  out.  Your  attention  to  this  will  much  oblige  a  great 
many  good  citizens  of  this  county — citizens  who  will  remember  the  kindness.  Send 
us  cannon-balls  and  cartridges,  and  every  thing  necessary  to  load  it.  All  expenses 
and  damages,   if  any,   will  be  promptly  paid.     Your  friends, 

Ed.  Turner,         Maj.  Wm.  Harris; 
R.  R.  Stone,        Dr.  Wm.  Jennings, 
And  others. 
P.   S.  —  If  you  can,  send  us  two  or  three  of  your  boys  who  know  how  to  load 
and  shoot,  and  are  competent  to  direct  the  piece,  etc.  E.  W.   Turner. 

We  have  no  one  who  has  been  accustomed  to  loading  or  shooting  a  cannon^ 
and  would  like  for  some  one  to  come  who  is  competent.  E.  W.  Turner. 

The  Courier  (Louisville,  Ky.)  adds,  that  the  cannon  was  for 
warded,   and  the   "Lexington  Rifles"  were  ready  to  march. 

From  the  St.  Louis  Democrat,  April,  i860. 
MOBOCRACY  IN  KENTUCKY  — C.  M.  CLAY'S  APPEAL. 
The  public  are  not  ignorant  of  the  unfortunate  state  of  affairs 
which  has  prevailed  for  a  considerable  period  in  Madison  County, 
Kentucky.  There  has  been  trouble  there  since  1856,  but  it  was 
not  until  the  past  winter  that  it  broke  out  into  systematic  violence 
and  wholesale  aggressions.  One  or  two  individuals,  who  profess 
radical  anti-slavery  opinions,  had  been  mobbed  previously;  but  last 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


25I 


years,  when  non-slaveholders  were  driven  out  for  their 
opinions,  they  migrated  mostly  to  Indiana.  Thus,  when  I 
spoke  there,  a  great  number  of  Democrats  came  to  hear 
me,  and  were  won  over  to  my  cause.  The  upshot  was, 
that  we  carried  Indiana  for  Lincoln;  and  this  saved  the 
election. 

In  the  meantime,  the  Slave-power,  who  had  seen  their 
hopes   of  empire   lost    in    Kansas,   and    in   the    election   of 

December  several  families  residing  in  a  place  called  Berea,  and  the 
members  of  which  are  mainly  natives  of  the  State,  were  expelled 
for  the  same  offence  by  a  pro-slavery  organization  which  has  estab- 
lished itself  as  the  supreme  power  in  Madison  County,  One  of  the 
exiles,  a  gentleman  by  the  name  of  Hanson,  a  Kentuckian  by  birth, 
who  owned,  it  seems,  a  considerable  property  in  Berea,  returned 
there  in  March.  This  was  the  signal  for  another  and  more  serious 
demonstration  on  the  part  of  the  pro-slavery  men.  They  attacked 
Berea  on  the  26th  day  of  March;  but,  after  a  sharp  struggle  with 
the  people  of  the  village,  in  which  several  were  wounded  on  both 
sides,  they  were  compelled  to  retreat.  Renewing  the  assault,  two 
or  three  days  afterward,  they  succeeded  in  destroying  a  mill,  the 
property  of  Hanson.  Encouraged  by  this  achievement,  they  deter- 
mined to  expel,  or  exterminate,  every  Republican  in  the  county. 
In  pursuance  of  this  design,  they  resolved,  with  true  instinct,  to 
strike  the  next  blow  at  Cassius  M.  Clay.  The  lordly  tower,  or  the 
oak  —  the  monarch  of  the  forest  —  is  not  more  apt  to  attract  the 
lightning  from  the  clouds  than  such  a  man  as  Clay  to  draw  upon 
his  head  the  bolts  of  pro-slavery  vengeance.  His  address  to  the 
citizens  of  Madison  County  was  called  forth  by  the  dangers  im- 
pending over  him.  The  Revolutionary  Committee  sat  in  judg- 
ment on  him  once,  on  which  occasion  he  escaped  "denounce- 
ment," namely,  exile  or  death,  by  a  small  majority.  The  subject 
was  to  be  reconsidered  at  a  subsequent  meeting,  and  in  the  inter- 
val the  Address  appeared.  We  find  it  called  an  "Appeal"  in  the 
newspapers;  but  the  body  of  the  document  proved  that  to  be  a 
misnomer.  It  is  a  statement  of  the  writer's  case,  concluding  with 
a  most  emphatic  declaration,  that  he  will  never  recognize,  much 
less  submit  or  yield,  to  the  Revolutionary  Committee ;  that,  on  the 
contrary,  he  will  fight  to  the  death  first.  He  vindicates  himself 
from  the  accusation  of  having  any  affiliation  with  the  Radical  Abo- 
litionists,  showing  by  indubitable   testimony  that  he  not  only  repu- 


252  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

Lincoln,  looked  to  war,  and  a  Southern  Slave  Confedera- 
tion expanding  toward  Mexico  and  the  tropical  islands ; 
and  they  made  the  election  of  Lincoln  the  nominal  pretext 
for  revolution. 

I  was  the  only  speaker,  so  far  as  I  am  informed,  who 
always  predicted  war  in  case  of  Democratic  defeat;  and 
accepted  the  issue. 

So  I  never  wrote  to  Lincoln,  or  went  to  the  inaugura- 

diates  their  doctrines,  but  counseled  the  Republicans  of  Berea  to 
refuse,  like  himself,  to  make  common  cause  with  Hanson,  and  the 
associates  of  Hanson.  These  Republicans,  it  appears,  had  a  cause 
for  acting  as  they  did,  altogether  non-political  —  a  cause  which  true 
men  of  all  parties  will  pronounce,  not  only  a  just,  but  an  impera- 
tive one.  Clay  is  a  Republican  pure  and  simple,  and  will  not, 
therefore,  take  up  arms  in  defense  of  Abolitionists,  however  much 
he  may  regret  the  violation  of  the  Constitution  and  the  laws  of 
Kentucky  in  their  persons;  but,  being  a  Republican,  a  soldier,  and 
a  hero,  he  will  fight,  and,  if  need  be,  perish  in  defense  of  Repub- 
licans and  Republican  principles.  This  is  his  position ;  these  are 
ideas  which  he  avows. 

Our  deliberate  opinion  is,  that  his  enemies  in  Madison  County 
will  never  be  able  to  make  him  a  martyr  to  the  Republican  cause. ; 
but  we  are  by  no  means  so  sure  that  they  may  not  succeed  in 
making  him  President  of  the  United  States.  Notice  of  ejectment 
may  be  served  on  him,  but  he  will  not  quit  the  State;  and  it 
were  to  doubt  the  manhood  and  chivalry  of  Kentucky  to  suppose 
that  the  Revolutionary  Committee,  and  their  adherents,  would  be 
permitted  to  slay  him.  We  rather  opine  that  the  Committee  in 
question  have  discovered  before  this  time  that  discretion  is  the 
better  part  of  valor.  They  have  heard  the  lion's  roar  in  that 
Address ;  and  we  have  no  doubt  it  has  had  a  salutary  effect  on 
their  deliberations.  Were  Clay  forced  into  the  position  of  defend- 
ing his  common  rights  as  a  citizen,  by  physical  force,  troops  of 
Kentuckians,  we  have  not  the  slightest  doubt,  and  especially  of  his 
old  companions  in  arms,  would  flock  to  his  assistance.  The  law, 
too,  and  all  law-abiding  citizens,  would  be  on  his  side,  and  against 
the  revolutionary  mob.  No,  he  could  not  be  conquered ;  but  a 
demonstration  against  him,  like  that  threatened,  would  very  prob- 
ably make  him  the  favorite  of  the  Chicago  Convention,  and  the  idol 
•of  the    entire   non-slaveholding   population  of  the  country.       There- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  253 

tion  at  Washington ;  waiting  quietly  to  be  called  to  the 
responsible  post  to  which  public  sentiment  and  the  Presi- 
dent himself  had  pointed.  The  first  enlightenment  I  had 
of  the  intrigues  against  me  was  the  publication,  in  the 
Washington  journals,  that  I  had  been  appointed  Minister 
Plenipotentiary  to  Spain.  I  went  at  once  to  Washington. 
Seward  had  been  made  Secretary  of  State,  Simon  Cam- 
eron   of    War,    Edward     Bates    Attorney-General,    Gideon 

fore,  as  the  advocate  of  the  Bates  movement,  as  well  as  admirers 
of  his  eloquence  and  ability,  of  the  nobleness  of  his  character,  and 
of  his  truly  heroic  life,  we  desire  that  he  may  not  be  molested. 
Could  our  voice  reach  the  Revolutionary  Committee  of  Madison, 
we  would  entreat  that  Jacobin  tribunal  to  let  him  alone  for  its  own 
sake,  for  his  sake,  and  for  ours  —  most  of  all,  for  its  own;  for  we 
entertain  the  notion  that  such  of  its  members  as  should  proceed  to 
execute  the  "denouncement"  would  experience  a  premature  and 
tragic  fate. 

But  what  shall  be  said  of  the  government  and  laws  of  Ken- 
tucky. In  one  of  the  oldest  counties  of  that  old  and  illustrious 
Commonwealth,  a  reign  of  terror  has  prevailed  for  months;  mob- 
ocracy  has  trampled  on  the  laws  with  impunity,  and  committed,  in 
open  day,  and  through  the  instrumentality  of  organized  bands,  out- 
rages on  person  and  property— exiling  the  one,  and  destroying 
the  other. 

Repeated  attempts  have  been  made  in  Missouri  to  drive  out 
free  negroes;  but  the  only  power  invoked  for  that  purpose  was 
the  legislative  power.  In  Kentucky  they  drive  out  white  men,  na- 
tives of  the  soil,  not  only  without  legal  warrant,  but  with  indifference 
to  the  Constitution  and  the  statutes.  We  have  had  a  queer  Gov- 
ernor in  this  State,  and  we  have  had  a  queer  Legislature  —  one 
distinguished  equally  for  its  inhumanity  and  its  imbecility;  but  yet 
we  can  take  some  comfort  by  comparing  ourselves  with  Kentucky. 
Since  the  end  of  the  Kansas  difficulties,  and  the  Blue  Lodge 
regime,  Abolitionists  as  well  as  Democrats,  Americans  and  Repub- 
licans, are  permitted  to  live  amongst  us.  Except  some  of  the 
country  banks,  no  person  or  association  of  persons,  and  slave- 
holders least  of  all,  invoke  the  interposition  of  Lynch  judgment 
and  terrorism.  The  crime  of  negro-stealing  is  punished  by  the 
laws,  and  not  by  mobs,  just  like  any  other  larceny.  Although  we 
dare   not  say  that   the   expression   of  extreme   anti-slavery  opinions 


254  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

Wells  Secretary  of  the  Navy,  and  Caleb  B.  Smith  Secre- 
tary of  the  Interior,  with  Montgomery  Blair  Postmaster- 
General.  I  went  directly  to  Lincoln,  and  told  him  I 
would  not  accept  the  mission  to  an  old,  effete  government 
like  Spain ;  that  I  had,  at  my  own  expense  and  great 
sacrifice  of  money  and  time,  canvassed  for  five  real  and 
acting  Presidents,  and  had  never  asked  an  office  for  my- 
self or  any  friend ;  that  I  had  labored  for  the  time  to 
come  when  I  could  accept  office  only  to  vindicate  my  prin- 
ciples ;  and  now,  since  they  seemed  to  have  so  many  bet- 
ter men  than  myself,  I  should  go  home  at  once,  and 
settle  down  into  private  life.  (I  never  named  his  promise 
about  the  War  Department  till  my  recall  from  Russia,  in 
1862.)     Lincoln   seemed   much   affected,   and  said:    "Well, 

is  tolerated  in  all  parts  of  our  State,  yet,  except  in  the  case  of 
Mr.  Milliken,  of  Kirkville,  we  can  remember  no  recent  case  of 
persecution,  or  attempt  at  persecution,  for  political  opinions  of 
any  kind;  though  it  is  certain,  from  our  large  immigration  for  the 
last  few  years,  that  every  shade  of  opinion  is  represented  among 
our  population.  Even  the  persecution  against  Milliken,  we  be- 
lieve, died  out  without  producing  an  overt  act.  Missouri  may, 
therefore,  plume  herself  by  comparison  with  a  State  which  per- 
mits an  illegal  Society  to  drive  her  native  children  by  force  into 
exile,  for  no  other  cause  than  their  opinions. 

Fro?n  the  New    York  World. 

ANOTHER    TRIUMPH    FOR    FREE    SPEECH  — C.    M.    CLAY    AT    RICH- 
MOND,   KENTUCKY. 

Cassius  M.  Clay  won  another  victory  for  free  speech,  and 
struck  a  good  blow  in  behalf  of  Republicanism,  at  Richmond, 
Kentucky,  the  county  seat  of  Madison  County,  on  the  4th  instant 
(April,  i860).  This  was  the  day  of  the  opening  of  the  County 
Court;  and  a  large  number  of  people  were,  of  course,  present 
from  the  surrounding  country. 

Mr.  Clay  had  publicly  announced,  through  both  the  papers 
issued  at  Richmond,  that  he  intended  to  speak  on  this  occasion, 
and  the  subject  was  much  canvassed  in  the  streets.  The  more 
violent  portion  of  the  Revolutionary  Committee,  we  learn,  were 
for  silencing  him. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  255 

what  office  would  you  accept?"  I  said,  seeing  the  Cabi- 
net was  filled,  I  would  go  as  Minister  Plenipotentiary  to 
London  or  to  Paris.  He  said  those  were  already  full  — 
Wm.  O.  Dayton  having  been  named  for  Paris,  and  Charles 
Francis  Adams  for  England.  This  was  the  first  I  had 
heard  of  these  appointments ;  and  I  saw  the  hand  of  Se- 
ward in  all  my  defeats.  I  said:  "Well,  that  settles  the 
matter."  So,  taking  my  hat,  I  was  about  taking  my  leave, 
when  Lincoln  said:  "Do  not  go  home.  I  will  consider 
the  proposition." 

That  day  I  dined  at  the  house  of  H.  S.  Sanford,  who 
was  just  made  Minister  Resident  at  Belgium,  with  a  large 
party  of  the  most  prominent  Republicans.  After  dinner, 
Senator  Ed.  D.  Baker  of  Oregon,  who  had  been  in  Mexico 

At  one  o'clock  p.  m.,  the  large  court-house  was  packed  to  its 
utmost  capacity.  Mr.  Clay  took  up  the  Republican  platform  and 
read  it,  making  no  allusion  to  the  mob,  but  going  on  to  vindicate 
the  principles  laid  down  in  that  platform.  Finding  him  prudent 
enough  to  avoid  any  mention  of  the  mob,  one  of  the  most  vio- 
lent of  them  declared  that  Mr.  Clay  should  be  "shot  through  the 
head.'"  Mr.  Clay  said  he  claimed  the  same  equal  rights  as  were 
allowed  other  parties,  and  that  he  would  "stand  or  fall  there!" 
The  clamor  against  him  continued;  but  the  great  mass  cried  out: 
"Go  on."* 

Mr.  Clay  then  said :  ' '  Gentlemen,  I  see  what  you  are  after. 
If  nothing  but  a  fight  will  do  you,  we  are  ready  for  you.  Now 
try  it.  Shall  I  speak,  citizens,  or  not?"  "Yes,  yes;  go  on," 
was  the  response  from  the  great  majority  of  the  crowd.  A  doz- 
en voices  cried  out:  "No,  no."  To  which  Mr.  Clay  replied: 
"Then  go  out"  (great  applause),  "if  you  do  not  want  to  hear!" 
And  they  went  out,  completely  foiled  in  their  attempt  at  assas- 
sination. 

Mr.  Clay  made  a  strong  speech,  which  told  with  great  effect 
upon  his  large  audience.  Many  "Union"  men,  we  are  told,  de- 
clared for  Lincoln  that  day.  Our  Republican  friends  there  are  in 
good    spirits.       They  say  the    cause    is    progressing;    and    that    the 

•-These  were  the  men  who  drove  out  the  Rev.  John  G.  Fee,  and  forty  others, 
from  Berea.  H.  Cavanaugh  was  afterward  shot,  through  a  window  in  his  own 
house,  and  killed.      The  slave-power  was  as  violent  then  as  ever  before.  —  C.   1885. 


256  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

with  me,  and  who  was  intimate  with  Lincoln  and  myself, — 
he  who  was  afterward  killed  at  Ball's  Bluff, —  came  in, 
and,  taking  me  aside,  said  he  had  held  a  conversation 
with  Lincoln,  and  that  he  was  very  much  disturbed  about 
me ;  that  Seward  had  promised  the  two  missions  named 
to  Dayton  and  Adams,  and  they  would  be  offended  if 
those  missions  were  given  to  others ;  that  Lincoln  thought 
my  going  home  would  injure  the  cause,  and  would  like  to 
do  something,  if  possible,  to  satisfy  me ;  and  this  argu- 
ment Baker  fully  sustained.  He  said:  "Mr.  Lincoln  has 
not  decided  not  to  give  you  one  of  the  posts  you  desire ; 

time  is  not  far  distant  when  Kentucky  will  not  only  tolerate  free 
speech,   but  will  also  range  herself  on  the  right  side. 

From  the  Neiu  York  Tribune. 
TESTIMONIAL  TO  MRS.  C.  M.  CLAY. 
The  splendid  portrait  of  Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay,  which  attracts 
so  much  attention  at  the  Tremont  House,  is  on  its  way  to  White 
Hall,  Kentucky,  to  be  presented  to  Mrs.  Clay,  as  indicated  by  the 
subjoined  letter.  The  portrait  is  one  of  Brady's  best  imperial  mez- 
zotint photographs,  and  is  a  perfect  likeness  of  the  hero  of  Frank- 
fort.     We  append  the  letter: 

New  York,  April  3,   i860. 
Mrs.  C.  M.  Clay  — 

Madam  : — The  undersigned  friends  of  your  distinguished  husband,  and  officers 
of  the  organization  under  the  auspices  of  which  he  made  his  recent  eloquent  political 
address  in  this  city,  beg  you  to  accept  the  photographic  likeness  herewith  sent  as  a 
feeble  testimonial  of  their  admiration  of  that  heroic  devotion  to  liberty  and  the  right 
which  has  characterized  the  life  and  made  illustrious  the  name  of  Cassius  M.  Clay. 
With  best  wishes  for  your  continued  health  and  prosperity,  we  are,  with  great  respect, 

Cephas  Brainerd,  R.  C  McCormick, 

George  P.  Edgar,  Dexter  A.  Hawkins, 

D.  H.  Gildersleeve,       Charles  C.  Nott, 
Wm.  M.  Franklin,  Charles  H.  Cooper, 

Frank  W.  Ballard,        Charles  T.  Rodgers, 
Erasmus  Sterling,  Benj.  F.  Mannierre, 

Hiram  Barney. 

From  the  New    York  Evening  Post. 
CASSIUS  M.  CLAY  AND  THE  YOUNG  MEN'S  REPUBLICAN  UNION. 
The  following  resolutions  were  unanimously  adopted  at  a  meet- 
ing of  the  Young  Men's  Republican  Union,  last  evening  (April  7, 
i860): 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  257 

but  can  not  you  find  something  else  that  will  do?"  I 
then  said  to  him:  "Russia  is  a  great  and  young  nation, 
and  must  much  influence  this  great  crisis;  I  will  go  there." 
He  seemed  to  have  anticipated  me,  and  said:  "All  right; 
get  your  hat,  and  we  will  go  at  once  and  see  the  Presi- 
dent." So  saying,  we  went;  and  found  Lincoln  alone, 
evidently  looking  for  us.  When  Baker  explained  that  I 
would  accept  the  Russian  mission,  Lincoln  rose  up ;  and, 
taking  my  hand,  said:  "Clay,  I  thank  you;  you  relieve 
me  of  great  embarrassment."     And  so  that  matter  ended. 

Whereas,  We  have  been  advised  that  our  much-esteemed 
friend,  the  Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay,  is  now  being  grossly  assailed 
by  the  advocates  of  slavery  in  the  State  of  Kentucky,  with  the 
evident  intent  of  expelling  him  from  the  home  of  the  Clays,  or 
depriving  him  of  his  life,  because  he  has  had  the  boldness  to 
express  his  opinions  —  a  right  guaranteed  to  every  citizen  by  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  States  —  therefore,  be  it  — 

Resolved,  That  the  "Young  Men's  Republican  Union,"  of  the 
city  and  county  of  New  York,  fully  appreciate  the  disinterested, 
philanthropic,  and  patriotic  motives  of  the  Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay 
in  his  efforts  to  promote  the  honor  and  prosperity  of  his  native 
State;  do  sympathize  with  him  in  his  present  difficulties;  and  sin- 
cerely hope  that  the  noble  stand  he  has  taken,  in  fearlessly  ex- 
pressing his  opinions,  may  open  the  eyes  of  his  fellow-citizens  to 
a  sense  of  their  true  position,  and  bring  about  such  a  change  in 
their  sentiments  as  may  awaken  them  to  a  sense  of  justice,  dic- 
tated by  patriotic  impulses,  to  vindicate  the  rights'- of  a  noble  and 
generous  man,  as  well  as  to  preserve  the  fair  fame  and  welfare 
of  our  common  country. 

Resolved,  That  we  recognize,  in  the  action  of  those  who  are 
engaged  in  this  attack  upon  Mr.  Clay,  a  desire  to  crush  the 
friends  of  freedom  in  Kentucky,  who  accept  the  great  principles 
of  the  Republican  Party  as  their  political  faith,  and  who  look 
upon  Mr.   Clay  as  their  leader  in  that  State. 

Resolved,  That  the  foregoing  preamble  and  resolutions  be  pub- 
lished in  the  New  York  Tribwte,  Evening  Post,  and  Herald;  and 
that  a  copy  be  sent  to  the  Hon.   Cassius  M.   Clay. 

Charles  T.   Rodgers,  President, 
Erasmus  Sterling,  Secretary. 
Vol.  I.  — 17 


258  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

Returning  to  Kentucky,  I  made  immediate  arrange- 
ments ;  and,  taking  my  whole  family,  except  Green  Clay, 
I  returned  to  Washington.  Seward  treated  me  with  the 
greatest  coolness ;  advanced  me  no  money,  as  was  usual 
in  such  cases,  from  the  treasury,  and  gave  me  no  instruc- 
tions, but  the  simple  accustomed  credentials  certifying  my 
office. 

I  had  set  out  in  life  one  of  the  wealthiest  men  in  the 
West ;  had  never  lived  extravagantly,  but  had  devoted  all 
my  means  and  energies  to  the  accomplishment  of  my  po- 
litical views.  I  now  felt  extremely  the  cold  treatment 
which  I  had  received  from  my  allies,  but  abated  nothing 
in  heart  or  hope.  Whilst  I  was  waiting  for  the  instruc- 
tions which  I  never  received,  the  Rebellion  culminated  in 
the  destruction  of  the  National  ships  in  the  Chesapeake, 
and  the  bloodshed  of  the  Massachusetts  troops  in  Balti- 
more. I  heard  the  news  of  the  ships ;  and,  going  at 
once  to  my  family  at  Willard's,  told  them  to  immediately 
take  the  omnibus,  which  was  at  the  door,  for  the  railroad, 
go  on  to  Philadelphia,  and  there  await  my  coming.  So, 
leaving  their  clothes  and  trunks  unpacked,  they  reached 
the  depot,  and  escaped  to  Philadelphia. 


CHAPTER   XIV 


The  Clay  Battalion.  —  Defense  of  Washington  City. — The  C.  M.  Clay 
Guards,  1861. —General  James  H.  Lane. —Testimonials.— Hon.  Charles 
Sumner  urges  my  acceptance  of  the  Commission   of  Major-General.  —  I 

DECLINE,    AND    PROCEED    ON    MY  MISSION  TO  RUSSIA. — W.    R.    HENLEY.  — SCRAPS 

of  History. — Issue  of  Veracity  between  B.  F.  Wade  and  myself. — Tele- 
gram   FROM   THE    BLAIRS.  —  CONTINUED    ASSAULTS    BY   THE    SEWARD    FACTION.— 

Extracts  from  the  Newspapers  —  New  York  "Evening  Post,"  "World," 
and  Erie  (Pa.)  "Gazette,"    indorsing  me  for  Secretary  of  War. 


HENRY  WILSON,  in  his  "History  of  the  Slave- 
Power,"  gives  a  very  poor  and  inaccurate  account 
of  the  defense  of  Washington ;  in  which  I  took  so  active 
a  part.  This  history  was  written  after  my  return  from 
Europe,  and  I  had  taken  sides  in  favor  of  the  autonomy 
of  the  South.  So  Wilson  was  not  at  all  different  from 
most  Republicans,  if  he  could  not  do  me  justice.  James 
H.  Lane,  of  Kansas,  then  Senator,  and  myself  had  all 
along  been  at  war  with  the  Slave-power ;  and,  whilst 
other  men  were  paralyzed  by  their  warlike  movements, 
we  were  ready  to  move  steadily  in  defense.  There  was 
no  meeting  at  the  Willard  Hotel  but  of  my  own  getting 
up ;  nor  was  there,  as  Wilson  says,  a  separate  movement 
by  me  in  the  theater  at  that  hotel.  I  began  and  con- 
ducted the  whole  organization  myself —  I  at  Willard's, 
and  Lane  at  another  part  of  the  city,  where  he  boarded. 
Willard's  was  full  of  guests,  from  top  to  bottom,  most 
of  them  Southerners.  There  were  rumors  of  the  capture 
of  Washington  from  the  beginning ;  and,  as  soon  as  the 
ships  were  sunk,  I  knew  that  the  war  there  had  begun, 
and  that  Washington  was  the  point  of  all  the  strategy. 
The  District  was  in  the  midst  of  the  slave  States  of  Vir- 
ginia and  Maryland,  which  were   confidentially  relied  upon 

259 


26O  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

to  join  the  South,  and  which  would  have  been  the  result 
but  for  the  patriotism  of  Governor  Hicks,  backed  up  by 
the  great  genius  and  moral  support  of  Miss  Anne  Ella 
Carroll,  daughter  of  Ex-Governor  Carroll,  of  Maryland. 
The  possession  of  the  capital  would  have  given  the  South 
at  once  recognition  by  foreign  governments ;  most  of  whom 
were  more  than  willing  to  see  the  overthrow  of  free  insti- 
tutions. 

That  very  night  I  began  the  enlistment  of  volunteers 
for  the  defense  of  Washington.  The  troops  of  the  Gov- 
ernment were  but  a  fragment  of  the  force  necessary  to 
defend  the  city  against  traitors  in  and  out  of  the  army ; 
and  Col.  McGruder,  who  commanded  the  largest  force, 
the  artillery,  was  a  traitor,  and  soon  went  over  to  the 
enemy.  General  Scott,  then  in  command  in  Washington, 
was  old,  and  not  up  to  the  political  forces  at  work.  I  oc- 
cupied a  parlor  and  bed-room,  and  kept  a  fine  pair  of 
Colt's  revolvers  loaded  in  the  latter,  whilst  I  wore  my 
accustomed  Bowie-knife.  As  the  names  of  the  volunteers 
were  listed,  I  gave  the  pass-word ;  and  no  person  what- 
ever was  entered  on  the  roll  whose  loyalty  was  not  sus- 
tained by  our  several  friends.  Henry  Wilson  is  mistaken 
about  oaths  being  taken.  The  entrance  to  the  church,  once 
a  theater,  was  from  the  hall  of  the  floor  where  I  roomed; 
and,  when  the  force  was  sufficient,  the  companies  were 
organized,  and  I  was  made  the  commander.  This  recruit- 
ing went  on  several  days,  till  we  had  about  as  many 
men  as  the  old  theater  could  hold. 

One  day,  whilst  I  was  alone  in  my  room,  two  ruffians 
of  notoriety  from  California  entered  my  apartment,  and 
asked  to  be  enrolled.  I  told  them  none  but  friends 
vouched  for  as  loyal  to  the  Government  could  be  ad- 
mitted, and  asked  them  to  bring  such  proof.  Thereupon 
one  of  them,  running  his  hand  into  his  pocket,  pulled  out 
several  pistol-balls,  and,  rolling  them  in  his  palm,  said : 
"Here  are  our  vouchers."  Without  a  word,  I  went  into 
my  bed-room,   and,  having  my  pistols  cocked,  one  in  each 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  26  I 

hand,  I  —  having  "the  drop"  upon  them,  as  they  say  out 
West  —  drove  them  to  the  extremity  of  the  hall,  and  down 
stairs. 

The  same  evening,  as  our  men  were  by  agreement 
entering  our  theater  in  considerable  numbers,  I  standing 
and  taking  the  pass-word,  a  stranger  came  up  and  at- 
tempted to  pass.  I  called  for  the  word ;  he  had  none, 
but  said  he  "had  as  much  right  to  go  in  there  as  any 
one."  I  then  leveled  my  pistol  quickly  at  his  head,  and 
said:  "These  are  war-times,  and  I  am  not  to  be  trifled 
with.  If  you  do  not  give  back  at  once,  I  will  put  a  ball 
through  your  brains."     He  sullenly  retired. 

I  had  not  seen  General  Scott  since  I  dined  with  him 
in  the  City  of  Mexico.  I  sought  him  at  his  quarters;  but 
his  staff  were  present,  and  I  could  not  tell  my  business, 
so  I  asked  him  into  another  room,  but  they  followed ;  and 
I,  seeing  that  they  were  determined  not  to  give  me  a 
private  audience  with  the  general,  saying  I  would  come 
again,  retired.  I  finally  got  an  interview,  and  told  the 
general  that  the  object  of  the  rebels  was  to  take  Wash- 
ington, and  that  no  time  was  to  be  lost.  I  advised  him 
to  concentrate  his  forces  in  some  of  the  strong  public 
buildings ;  and  hold  his  position,  if  attacked,  till  reinforce- 
ments could  arrive,  and  that  we  could  give  him  —  I  and 
Lane  —  considerable  help.  Scott  said  I  was  right,  per- 
haps ;  that  he  was  on  the  lookout,  but  that  the  moral 
effect  of  the  movement  would  be  more  depressing  than 
the  physical  strength  gained.  This,  on  reflection,  I  agreed 
was  wise.  The  general  also  told  me  that  he  had  several 
employes  about  his  house  and  quarters  unarmed,  and  that 
he  wished  I  would  supply  the  messenger  he  would  quietly 
send  with  some  of  the  arms  I  had  drawn  from  the  War 
Department.  I  told  him  I  would  cheerfully  do  so ;  and 
that  nieht  he  sent  for  and  got  them. 

Knowing  that  a  certain  gentleman,  whom  I  suspected 
of  being  in  sympathy  with  the  rebels,  would  most  likely 
repeat  my  saying,  I  told  him  it  was  possible  the  next  day 


262  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

martial  law  would  be  declared,  and  some  of  the  rebels 
then  in  Willard's  hotel  shot.  It  turned  out  as  I  expected, 
and  the  next  morning  the  hotel  was  cleared ;  several  hun- 
dred men  leaving  for  parts  unknown.  So  great  was  the 
exodus,  that  the  house  was  on  the  eve  of  closing,  as  I 
learned,  for  the  want  of  guests,  and  on  account  of  the 
threatened  war. 

On  the  night  named  by  Senator  Wilson,  Lane's  com- 
mand was  ordered  to  join  mine,  and  march  to  the  Navy 
Yard,  below  Washington,  to  assist  in  its  defense  against  a 
rumored  attack  from  Virginia.  *  When  the  two  commands 
met,  Lane  desired  the  joint  command,  to  which  I  objected, 
as  my  force  was  much  larger  than  his ;  and,  referring  it  to 
the  soldiers  themselves,  I  was  made  the  commander  of 
the  battalion,  and  so  acted  at  the  Navy  Yard.  The  rebels, 
seeing  determined  men  opposed  to  their  military  coup,  de- 
serted the  city ;  and  we  held  it  without  further  incident, 
keeping  out  pickets  at  night,  and  guarding  the  President's 
house,  f 

*  SPECIAL    ORDER. 

Head-quarters  Department  of  Washington, 

Washington,  D.  C.  April  24,  1861. 
Gentlemen: — The  Secretary  of  War  desires  that  the  volunteers 
under  General  James  H.  Lane  and  Major  C.  M.  Clay  should  take 
post  at  the  United  States  Navy  Yard  for  its  protection.  I  am  there- 
fore directed  by  Colonel  Smith,  commanding,  to  request  that  you 
will  report  with  your  respective  commands  to  the  commandant  of 
the  Navy  Yard,  for  this  service,  by  9  o'clock  to-night,  to  remain  on 
duty  till  daylight.  You  will  report  to  the  commandant  of  the  Navy 
Yard,  for  the  same  service,  on  each  succeeding  night  for  the  periods 
that  your  respective  commands  may  have  been  enrolled. 
I  am,  sir,  very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

Thomas  Talbot, 

Assistant  Adjutant-  General. 
To  Gen.  J.   H.   Lane,   and 

Maj.   C.   M.   Clay,   Washington. 

t  All  the  time,  from  1861  to  1876,  I  had  believed  that  General 
Lee  was  present  at  one  of  the  calls  I  made  on  General  Scott,  and 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  263 

Mr.  Seward,  who  had  no  intercourse  with  me  since  my 
arrival  in  Washington,  sent  for  me,  and  desired  that  I 
should  take  my  volunteer  force  and  reconnoiter  in  the 
direction  of  Baltimore,  to  the  extent,  at  least,  of  the  rail- 
road that  was  left,  as  we  could  get  no  information  of  the 
rebel  movements  in  that  direction.  As  I  knew  the  Balti- 
moreans  had  artillery,  I  told  him,  if  General  Scott  would 
give  me  a  battery,  and  force  to  work  it,  I  would  take 
command  with  my  men,  and  see  the  end  of  the  railroad 
at  least.  I  was  not  in  a  very  good  humor  with  him,  and 
spoke  in  rather  a  surly  manner,  whilst  not  refusing  to  act. 
I  heard  no  more  of  it.  I  have  no  data  by  me  to  cor- 
rect errors  of  memory,  but  my  impression  is  that  the  first 
troops  that  came  to  our  relief  were  the  New  York  regi- 
ment, and  then  the  Massachusetts  regiment,  and  the  Penn- 
sylvania regiment  last ;  but  of  this  I  am  not  sure.  When 
they  arrived,  being  of  no  longer  use  in  Washington,  I 
yielded  up  my  command.  Lincoln  issued  an  order  thank- 
that  he  introduced  him  to  me ;  and  I  have  so  stated  in  speech  and 
writing.  But  as  there  is  a  question  of  doubt  about  his  being  in 
Washington  at  that  time,  and  I  can  not  be  sure  of  my  first  im- 
pression, I  desire  now  to  so  state  the  facts.  It  is  not  probable 
that  General  Lee  would  make  a  very  distinct  impression  upon  my 
memory,  as  he  was  not  then  distinguished.  I  wrote,  a  few  years 
ago,  to  I.  Stoddard  Johnson,  asking  whether  General  Lee  was,  at 
the  time  named,  on  General  Scott's  staff,  and  he  said  not;  but  still 
he  may  have  been  in  Washington.  The  facts,  no  doubt,  can  be 
easily  established,  if  thought  of  any  importance.  Several  of  Scott's 
immediate  command,  Colonel  McGruder  being  one,  then  went  over 
to  the  Confederates. 

Before  leaving  Washington,  I  took  the  liberty  to  give  General 
Scott  my  "views  about  the  conduct  of  the  war;  that  our  armies 
should  be  advanced  by  sea  and  river  routes,  as  we  had  supremacy 
there,  and  thus  shorten  our  lines  of  supply  of  food,  and  men,  and 
material  of  war. 

Miss  Anne  Ella  Carroll  indicated  the  exact  route  in  the  West 
which  led  to  victory,  But  she  never  was  rewarded  for  her  emi- 
nent services  by  the  Government!  —  C.    1885. 


264  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

ing  me  for  my  services ;  and  presented  me  with  a  Colt's 
revolver,  as  a  testimony  of  his  regard.  This  pistol  I  yet 
hold  as  an  heir-loom  in  my  family,  together  with  the  ele- 
gant sword  presented  to  me  by  the  citizens  of  Kentucky, 
after  my  return  from  Mexico,  as  stated  in  the  following 
letter: 

Written  for  the  Shelby  (Ky.)   News. 
HONOR  TO  THE  BRAVE. 

The  citizens  of  Madison  and  Fayette  Counties  have  "caused  to 
be  made,"  and  presented  to  Captain  Cassius  M.  Clay,  an  elegant 
sword,  "as  a  token  of  their  sincere  regard  and  admiration."  The 
committee  charged  with  the  duty  of  presentation,  say,  in  their  com- 
munication to  Captain  Clay: 

' '  Your  fellow-citizens,  who  observed  you  giving  up  the  comforts 
of  a  pleasant  home,  and  encountering  the  dangers  incident  to  a  cam- 
paign in  Mexico,  conceive  that  in  your  short  service,  especially  after 
the  capitulation  at  Encarnacion,  when  one  of  the  prisoners  escaped 
from  the  Mexican  guard,  you  displayed  courage  and  self-possession  in 
the  midst  of  sudden  and  appalling  danger,  which  illustrate  the  highest 
qualities  of  the  officer  and  the  soldier.  Disarmed,  as  you  were,  your 
firmness  and  sagacity  prevented  the  sacrifice  of  the  gallant  but  unfor- 
tunate little  band.  Such  qualities  on  a  broader  field  might  have 
rendered  you  more  conspicuous  before  the  nation ;  but  would  pre- 
sent no  tnter  test  of  the  intrinsic  merit  of  the  soldier." 

The  committee  wished  to  present  the  sword  publicly;  but  the 
Captain  declined  it,  for  reasons  satisfactory  to  himself.  They  then 
addressed  a  note  to  Captain  Clay,  to  know  at  what  time  it  would  be 
convenient  for  him  to  receive  the  sword  at  his  own  residence ;  to 
which  note  he  replied  that  he  would  be  pleased  to  see  the  com- 
mittee, and  such  other  friends  as  might  be  inclined  to  be  present, 
on  Friday  evening,  November  10th.  Accordingly,  on  that  evening, 
the  committee,  in  company  with  a  number  of  other  gentlemen,  re- 
paired to  Captain  Clay's  residence  in  the  country,  and,  finding  him 
at  home,  were  cordially  received.  Dr.  A.  J.  Burnam,  one  of  the 
committee,  after  addressing  a  few  handsome  and  appropriate  re- 
marks, referring  to  the  correspondence  touching  the  occasion,  handed 
the  elegant  sword  to  Captain  Clay.  It  was  received  with  modest 
simplicity  by  the  Captain,  who  declared  that  he  felt  his  poor  services 
had  not  merited  such  a  compliment,  and  one  which  was  rarely  tend- 
ered for  any  service  except  distinguished  conduct  on  the  battle-field. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  265 

remarking  that  he  would  not  have  accepted  the  sword  did  he  not 
feel  that  his  conduct  on  the  occasion  especially  alluded  to  was  now 
fully  vindicated  from  the  malign  aspersions  of  some  of  those  who 
were  associated  with  him.  The  company  were  then  invited  to  par- 
take of  a  most  superb  and  tasty  collation  prepared  with  exquisite 
taste  by  Mrs.  Clay.  After  enjoying  it  abundantly,  with  fine  cheer, 
the  company  dispersed. 

His  fellow-citizens  have  reflected  honor  upon  themselves  by  this 
act  of  simple  justice  to  a  brave  and  gallant  man,  who,  in  the  hour 
of  peril,  when  all  hearts  were  sick  at  the  prospect  of  a  violent  death, 
stood  up  in  the  might  of  his  greatness,  and  delivered  them.  It  was 
a  display  of  the  loftiest  heroism,  and  challenges  the  admiration  of 
the  world.  May  he  long  live  to  enjoy  the  gratitude  of  his  generous 
friends ;  and  may  that  sword  never  be  unsheathed  except  in  a  cause 
where  virtue  weaves  the  wreath  for  the  brow  of  the  living,  and  hal- 
lows the  grave  of  the  dead.  B. 

This  was  but  one  of  the  many  testimonials  from  public 
bodies  to  my  gallantry.  The  Legislature  of  Kentucky, 
March  i,  1848,  passed  a  complimentary  resolution  for  my 
defense  of  Encarnacion  (see  Collin's  History  of  Kentucky, 
Vol.  I.,  p.  56). 

For  the  Observer  and  Reporter. 
THE  LOUISVILLE  AND  FAYETTE,  KENTUCKY,  LEGIONS. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  officers  composing  the  Louisville  Legion, 
held  at  the  Washington  Hall,  on  Saturday  evening,  the  18th  inst, 
on  motion  of  Lieutenant  Colonel  Joseph  Metcalfe,  the  following 
preamble  and  resolutions  were  adopted: 

Whereas,  we  have  understood  that  some  attempt  has  been 
made  to  alter  the  arrangements  entered  into  at  Camp  Madison, 
in  July,  1843,  relative  to  the  encampment  to  be  held  near  Ver- 
sailles in  July  next  (1845),  and  to  supersede  Col.  Cassius  M.  Clay 
in  the  command  —  in  consequence  of  opinions  held  by  him  on 
certain  subjects  —  therefore,   be  it 

Resolved,  by  the  officers  of  the  Louisville  Legion,  that,  with- 
out concurring  in,  or  endorsing,  the  correctness  of  the  views  of 
Col.  Clay  on  the  subject  referred  to,  we,  as  a  body,  protest,  as 
far  as  we  have  the  right,  against  any  alteration  being  made  in 
the  general  arrangements  as  understood  at  the  last  encampment. 

Resolved,  That  in  C.   M.  Clay  we  recognize  a  gentleman,  whose 


266  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

private  worth,  dignity  of  manners,  and  military  abilities  guarantee 
to  us  that  harmony  so  necessary  to  general  enjoyment  among  so 
large  a  body  of  men  as  will  be  drawn  together  from  all  parts  of 
the  State  and  surrounding  States. 

Resolved,  That  Col.  Joseph  Metcalfe  be  a  committee  to  for- 
ward a  copy  of  these  resolutions  to  Col.  C.  M.  Clay,  and  to  those 
citizens  of  Woodford  who  are  dissatisfied. 

Signed  by  the  following  officers: 

Joseph  Metcalfe,  Lieut.  Col.  Louisville  Legion. 

John  G.  Stein,  Major  Louisville  Legion. 

Thos.  L.  Caldwell,  Surgeon  Louisville  Legion. 

L.  Thompson,  Lieutenant  Louisville  Guards. 

Jas.  Peterson,         "  "  " 

H.  M.   McGhee,  Lieutenant  Washington  Blues. 

F.  Watson,  "  "  " 

H.  Tyler,  Capt.  Kentucky  Riflemen. 

Geo.  W.  Anderson,  ist  Lieut.  Kentucky  Riflemen, 

J.   Boecking,  Capt.  National  Guards. 

F.  Kern,  Capt.  German  National  Guards. 

P.  Ramb,    ist  Lieut.   German  National  Guards. 

C.  C.  Spencer,  Capt.  Boone  Riflemen. 

Gentlemen  :  —  I  have  received  the  preamble  and  resolutions 
passed  by  you  on  the  1 8th  instant.  Those  only  who  have  been 
placed  in  similar  circumstances  can  appreciate  your  magnanimity, 
and  the  gratitude  which   I  shall  ever  owe  you. 

You  will  learn  from  the  press  that  resolutions  simultaneous 
with,  and  similar  to  yours,  were  passed  by  the  Fayette  Legion, 
where  you  will  also  see  the  course  which  I  have  thought  it  my 
duty  to  pursue,  which  I  trust  will  meet  your  entire  approbation. 

Gentlemen,  I  am  forced  to  attribute  the  very  flattering  terms 
in  which  you  allude  to  myself  more  to  the  generous  overflowings 
of  Kentucky  hearts,  than  to  any  merit  of  my  own;  yet  I  can  not 
refrain  from  here  taking  occasion  to  say,  that  I  claim  to  be  be- 
hind no  man,  or  set  of  men,  in  my  devotion  to  the  best  interests 
of  my  native  State ;  and  that  I  do  not  fear  that,  with  any  great 
portion  of  my  countrymen,  political  difference  of  opinion  will  de- 
generate into  personal  persecution.  But,  should  it  turn  out  other- 
wise, as  the  commission  I  bear  constrains  me  at  all  times  to  fall, 
if  necessary,  in  my  country's  defense ;  so  in  a  civil  capacity  I  trust 
the  equally  high  duties  which  I  owe  her  shall  never  be  foregone 
out  of  any  apprehensions  of  insult  or  prostrated  popularity. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  267 

Receive   my  thanks,    once   more,    for  your  generous   sympathy, 

and  believe  me  ever  your  friend  and  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 
Col.  Joseph  Metcalfe, 

And  the  officers  of  the  Louisville  Legion. 

For  the   Louisville   Courier. 
TO   THE    PUBLIC. 

Although  the  calumnies  of  Borland  and  others  have  met  with 
very  general  indignation  and  contempt  from  all  just  men,  I  trust 
those  who  take  an  interest  in  this  prolonged  controversy  will  par- 
don me  this  last  intrusion  upon  their  time  and  patience. 

When  I  found  that  there  was  to  be  a  systematic,  savage,  and 
partisan  war  upon  me,  because  I  ventured  to  exercise  the  humblest 
as  well  as  the  highest  rights  of  a  freemen  —  an  honorable  and 
searching  canvass  of  public  men  and  measures  —  I  wrote  to  a  friend 
of  all  the  parties  concerned  in  the  story,  which  was  to  form  the 
nucleus  of  assault,  asking  him  to  get  a  frank  statement  of  the 
Mexican  commander  of  my  bearing  on  the  24th  day  of  January, 
1847.  The  following  testimony  from  a  magnanimous  enemy  may, 
perhaps,  be  worth  more  than  the  unanimous  and  zealous  ' '  back- 
ing" of  all  the  men  of  the  Encarnacion  imprisonment,  whose  per- 
sonal regard  for  me  might  be  supposed  to  blind  their  judgment 
and  impair  their  impartiality. 

C.   M.   Clay. 
Madison  County,  Ky.  ,  September' '5,   1848. 

JOSE    MARIA   ZAMBONINO. 

(Copy  from  the  original  in  my  possession.) 

Jose  Ma.  Zambonino  Coronel  del  Ejercito  Mexicano  —  Certifico: 
que  el  sehor  Capitan  Clay  fue  uno  de  los  prisioneros  tornado  en  la 
Haciende  de  la  Encarnagion,  el  dia  23  de  Enero  de  1847,  Y  que 
el  dia  24  del  espresado  mes  fuerou  entregados  a  mi  para  condu- 
cirlos  a  San  Luis:  en  este  mismo  dia  trataron  de  hacer  una  fuga 
quitandome  las  annas,  cuyo  projecto  no  tubo  efecto  por  que  logro 
el  que  subscribe  contenerlo  con  las  armas,  y  solo  tubo  por  objeto 
la  fuga  de  Henry,  dejando  comprometidos  a  todos  sus  companeros, 
quienes  por  una  pura  casualidad  no  fueron  fusilados :  en  dicho  dis 
el  Capitan  Clay  semantuvo  con  toda  la  serenida  propia  de  su  car- 
acter,  sin  dar  muestra  de  cobardia  apesar  del  riesgo  que  corrian  el, 
y  sus  companeros,  sin  que  este  implorara  ninguna  gracia  ni  espuirera 
cosa  alguna  en  su  favor  para  salvar  su  vida:  pues  solo  pedia  indul- 


268  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

gencia  para  sus  companeros:  por  lo  tanto  si  alguna  persona  le  su- 
pone  a  dicho  Clay  aber  echo  o  dicho  algo  mas  sobre  el  particular 
asequro  bajo  mi  firma  que  es  falso,  y  que  de  este  echo  solo  el  que 
subscribe  puede  asequrar  la  verdad  de  este  asnuto:  en  obsequio  de 
la  justicia,  paraque  courte  y  a  pedimento  del  interesado  doy  el 
presente. 

Jose  Ma.  Zambonino. 
En  Mexico,  a  \o  dc  Agosto  dc  1848. 


Translation  of  the  foregoing  by  a  British  subject  in  tJie  City  of  Mexico. 

Jose  Maria  Zambonino,  Colonel  of  the  Mexican  army — I  do 
hereby  certify,  that  Captain  Clay  was  one  of  the  prisoners  taken 
in  the  hacienda  de  la  Encarnagion  on  the  23d  of  January,  1847, 
and  further  that  on  the  24th  of  said  month,  he,  among  other 
prisoners,  was  delivered  over  to  me  to  be  carried  to  San  Luis. 
On  the  said  24th,  a  plan  was  combined  by  said  prisoners  to  effect 
their  escape  by  disarming  me  and  my  men,  but  which  plan  was 
frustrated  by  my  armed  attitude,  its  only  result  being  the  escape 
of  one  of  them  named  Henry,  who  by  so  doing  left  his  companions 
compromised  so  much  that  it  is  owing  to  mere  casualty  that  they 
were  not  all  shot.  On  that  day  Captain  Clay  behaved  himself  with 
that  coolness  and  serenity  peculiar  to  his  character,  giving  no  signs 
of  fear,  notwithstanding  the  risk  both  he  and  his  companions  were 
running ;  nor  did  he  implore  for  himself  either  grace  or  mercy,  whilst  in 
favor  of  his  companions  he  claimed  (pedia)  indulgence.  Therefore,  if 
any  person  or  persons  have  supposed  or  inferred  that  the  conduct 
of  said  Captain  Clay  has  been  different  in  word  or  deed  (aber  echo  o 
dicho)  on  said  occasion,  I  do  hereby  declare  on  my  word  and  honor 
that  such  suppositions  or  inferences  are  false,  as  nobody  else  but 
myself  can  vouch  for  the  truth  of  this  affair. 

In  obedience  to  the  demands  of  justice,  and  that  it  may  stand 
in  proof,  I  give  this  certificate,  at  the  request  of  the  interested  party. 

Jose  Maria  Zambonino. 
City  of  Mexico,   1st  of  August,   1848. 

About  this  time  the  non-slaveholders  of  Madison  Co., 
Kentucky,  and  the  mountain  counties  about  Berea,  pre- 
sented me,  through  Hamilton  Rawlins,  Dr.  Curtis  Knight, 
and  others,  an  elegant  black-hickory  cane,  cut  from  those 
hills.  It  had  thirteen  knots,  with  gold  caps,  inscribed  with 
the  initials  of  the  original  thirteen  States  of  the  Revolution 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  269 

of  1776;  and  on  the  gold  head-piece  were  inscribed  "The 
Poor  Man's  Friend,"  and  sentiments  commemorative  of  my 
saving  the  men  at  Salao,  in  Mexico,  on  the  24th  day  of  Jan- 
uary, 1847.  •  •  I*  was  trie  politicians  who  slaughtered 
me  —  not  the  people. 

The  successful  defense  of  Washington*  won  me  golden 
opinions  every-where.      There  never  were   so   many  distin- 

*  Head-quarters  C.  M.  Clay's  Washington  Guards. 

Washington,  April  25,  1861. 
This  is  to  certify  that  Professor  Amasa  McCoy,  Secretary  of  the 
Battalion,  of  Albany,  State  of  New  York,  was  duly  enrolled  a  mem- 
ber of  Cassius  M.  Clay's  Battalion  of  Washington  Guards,  and  served 
faithfully,  day  and  night,  during  the  perilous  times,  when  the  de- 
struction of  the  capital  of  our  country  was  threatened  by  the  traitor- 
ous designs  of  the  so-called  Southern  Confederacy. 

Cassius  M.   Clay, 
Major  Commanding. 
F.  S.  Littlejohn,  Adjutant. 

THANKS   OF   THE   GOVERNMENT   TO   C.    M.    CLAY'S    BATTALION. 

War  Department,  May  2,    1861. 
Major  Cassius  M.  Clay  — 

Sir:  —  I  beg  to  extend  you,  and  through  you  to  the  men  under 
your  command,  the  assurance  of  my  high  appreciation  of  the  very 
prompt  and  patriotic  manner  in  which  your  Battalion  was  organized 
for  the  defense  of  the  capital,  and  the  very  efficient  services  ren- 
dered by  it.     Very  respectfully,  Simon  Cameron, 

Secretary  of  War. 

I  cheerfully  concur  in  the  foregoing  testimonial  given  by  the 
Hon.  Secretary  of  War.  A.   Lincoln, 

President  of  the  United  States. 
Executive  Mansion,  May  2,   1861. 

Telegraphic  Dispatch  to  Associated  Press. 
CASSIUS    M.    CLAY'S   WASHINGTON   GUARD   CELEBRATION. 

Washington,  September  13,   1861. 
Cassius  M.  Clay's  Washington  Guards,  who  rendered  such  effi- 
cient service  in  the  defense  of  the  capital  in  the  dark  days  in  April, 
held  a  meeting  to-night,  at  their  head-quarters,  and  unanimously  re- 


27O  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

guished  men  in  one  small  body  of  troops  before  —  ex-con- 
gressmen, governors  of  States,  and  other  men  of  mark, 
who  happened  to  be  in  Washington,  all  rallied  to  my  ban- 
ner. The  result  was,  that  all  eyes  were  turned  upon  me, 
as  a  commander  of  truest  patriotism,  if  not  of  military 
education.  So,  when  there  was  so  much  treason  in  high 
places,  this  was  a  prime  quality.  The  Union  Safety  Corn- 
solved  to  celebrate  the  17th  of  September,  the  Anniversary  of  the 
Adoption  of  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  and  the  delivery 
of  Washington's  Farewell  Address.  Professor  Amasa  McCoy,  Sec- 
retary of  the  Clay  Guards,  was  invited  to  deliver  the  oration.  Pro- 
fessor McCoy  accepted  the  invitation,  and  announced  that  his  theme 
would  be  ' '  The  London  Times  on  the  Rebellion,  and  the  war  against 
the  National  Constitution."  The  President  of  the  United  States,  the 
Secretary  of  State,  and  two  or  three  hundred  of  the  most  distin- 
guished civil  and  military  characters,  now  at  the  national  capital, 
are  to  be  specially  invited  to  attend. 

Telegraphic  Dispatch  to  Associated  Press. 

Washington,  September  25,  1861. 
The  National  Fast  Day  will  be  generally  observed  here.  Pro- 
fessor McCoy  will  repeat,  in  the  afternoon,  in  the  hall  of  the 
Representatives,  his  oration,  which  was  delivered  on  last  Tuesday, 
commemorative  of  the  Seventy-Fourth  Anniversary  of  the  Adop- 
tion of  the  Constitution. 

NATIONAL    FAST-DAY    ORATION    IN   THE    NATIONAL   CAPITOL. 

Oration  delivered  before  the  President  of  the  United  States,   Secretary  of  State,   Secretary 
of  Treasury,  etc.,  by  Professor  Amasa  McCoy,  of  Washington,   D.    C,  Secre- 
tary of  Cassitis  M.    Clay's   Washington  Guards,   Professor  of  Rhetoric 
and  Oratory  in  the  Ballston  and  Albany  Law  Schools. 

Subject:  —  "The  London  Times  on  the  Rebellion,  and  the  War  against  the  National 

Constitution." 


REQUESTS    OF    THE    AUDIENCE    IN    WASHINGTON. 

Washington,  National  Fast  Day,  September  26,  1861. 
Whereas,  in  compliance  with  an  invitation  by  Cassius  M.  Clay's 
Battalion    of   Washington    Guards,    and    General   James    H.    Lane's 
Frontier  Guards,    Professor  Amasa   McCoy  (member  and  Secretary 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  27  I 

mittee  of  New  York  recommended  me  as  a  Major-General ; 
and  this  Charles  Sumner  urged  with  great  persistence,  say- 
ing Lincoln  would  certainly  appoint  me.  After  mature  de- 
liberation, I  declined  the  position.     If  I  had  been  made  a 

of  the  the  former  battalion),  delivered  an  oration  at  the  National 
Capitol,  on  the  17th  instant,  commemorative  of  the  Seventy-Fourth 
Anniversary  of  the  Adoption  of  the  Constitution,  and  the  Sixty- 
Fifth  Anniversary  of  the  delivery  of  Washington's  Farewell  Ad- 
dress; and 

Whereas,  the  audience,  on  that  occasion,  feeling  that  it  would 
be  a  great  public  gratification  and  benefit,  requested  that  said  ora- 
tion be  repeated;  and 

Whereas,  in  compliance  with  that  request,  it  has  been  repeated, 
with  great  applause  and  effect,  on  this  National  Fast  Day,  in  the 
Hall  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  in  the  Capitol,  in  the  pres- 
ence of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  the  Secretary  of  State, 
the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  and  a  great  audience  of  citizens  and 
soldiers ;  and 

Whereas,  it  is  the  desire  of  hundreds,  who  have  twice  heard  it 
at  the  Capital,  that  this  eloquent  and  powerful  appeal,  in  behalf  of 
the  War  and  the  Constitution,  should  be  heard  by  the  masses  of 
their  fellow-citizens  in  all  of  the  loyal  States  of  the  Union ;  and 

Whereas  the  present  formidable  combinations  of  the  "internal 
and  external  enemies"  of  the  Republic  demand  that  the  full  strength 
of  the  patriotism  of  all  its  loyal  citizens,  in  the  way  of  men  and 
money,  should  be  rallied  in  support  of  the  Army  and  the  Navy  of 
its  Government;  therefore, 

Resolved,  That  the  Orator  of  the  Day  is  hereby  solicited  to  de- 
liver this  noble  and  inspiring  appeal  to  American  patriotism  at  as 
many  points  in  the  Nation  as  he  conveniently  can ;  and  all  loyal 
citizens,  committees,  and  associations  are  respectfully  requested  to 
co-operate  in  procuring  its  delivery  in  their  respective  localities. 

Peter  G.   Washington, 

Ex-Assistant  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  Chairman, 
S.    C.    POMEROY, 
United  States  Senator  from  Kansas, 

George  W.   Wright, 

Ex-Member  of  Congress  from  California, 

Jesse  C   Dickey, 

Ex-Member  of  Congress  from  Pennsylvania, 

Committee. 


272  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

Major-General  in  the  army,  then  I  should  have  ranked  both 
Generals  Worth  and  Wool,  who  were  next  in  command  to 
General  Scott.  I  had  no  military  education,  and  knew  but 
little  of  fortification  and  artillery  service.  These  defects 
could  have  been  remedied  by  efficient  staff  officers ;  but, 
by  ranking  these  regular  officers,  I  knew  by  my  experience 
in  Mexico,  when  the  two  forces  came  together  —  the  regu- 
lar and  the  volunteer  armies  —  that  great  and  perhaps  fatal 
dissatisfaction  might  be  the  result ;  and  I  urged  this  view 
on  Sumner.  But  he  had  great  distrust  of  West  Point  and 
the  regular  army. 

I  told  Sumner  that  he  might  say  to  Lincoln,  that  I  did 
not  think  it  advisable  for  me  to  accept  the  great  honor 
proffered  me ;  but  that,  if  it  turned  out  that  I  was  abso- 
lutely needed  to  give  confidence  to  the  Union  army, 
which  would  of  course  consist  mostly  of  volunteers,  he 
might  recall  me  from  Russia,  and  I  would  do  my  best  to 
serve  the  country  at  home.  Sumner  was  greatly  disap- 
pointed, and  never  showed  any  friendship  towards  me  after- 
ward. 

These  facts  become  an  important  part  of  my  personal 
history,  and  will  be  referred  to  again  in  the  course  of  these 
memoirs. 

I  continued  to  have  the  confidence  of  Mr.  Lincoln. 
The  formal  attempt  of  the  rebels  to  negotiate  had  been 
rejected  by  the  Government;  and,  therefore,  as  it  was  the 
only  means  of  adjustment  left,  when  it  was  found  that  I 
was  holding  an  honorable  position,  and  had  the  confidence 

of  the   President,   a   gentleman   of  culture,  *   professing   to 

• 

*  Washington,  D.  C. ,  April  20,  1861. 
Memoranda: — The  undersigned,  on  all  the  responsibilities  of 
a  Kentuckian,  a  patriot,  and  a  man,  desiring  the  perpetuation  of 
the  Union  and  the  liberties  of  the  people,  opposed  always  to  ag- 
gressive wars,  believing  that  civilization  can  not  be  advanced  by 
arms  —  but  only  preexisting  ideas  can  be  so  fixed  —  in  favor  of 
peaceful  emancipation  by  the  will  of  the  sovereignties,  and  against 
servile  war  and   insurrection,   asserts,   upon    his    own    responsibility, 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  273 

come  on  the  part  of  the  leaders  of  Virginia,  came  to  me, 
and  presented  a  series  of  propositions,  which  he  avowed 
would  prevent  hostilities  between  the  Union  and  Virginia. 
Now  I  knew  that  the  South  was  better  prepared  than  the 
North  for  immediate  war;  and  therefore  I  thought  it  good 
policy  to  gain  time  in  all  honorable  ways.  Having  carried 
these  propositions  to  Mr.  Lincoln,  I  recommended  that 
we  should  assent  to  them ;  for,  if  the  rebels  kept  the  peace, 
we  had  a  right  to  recapture  all  our  national  forts,  and 
maintain  other  rights  which  even  Buchanan  had  not 
yielded.      So    that    we    could,  without   a  violation   of  these 


the   policy  of  the   Republican   Administration,    peace,    if  consistent 
with  honor. 

1.  He  asserts  the  avowals  of  President  Lincoln  in  his  inaugural 
address,  and  his  late  proclamation  to  make  war  upon  no  State, 
much  less  upon  Virginia,  or  the  border  States,  whose  Union  men 
he  would  conciliate  and  save  as  friends.  For  this  reason  he  re- 
tires from  Harper's  Ferry,  as  he  did  from  Fort  Sumpter,  acting 
clearly  on  the  defensive,  that  he  might  stand  before  mankind  guilt- 
less of  this  great  fraternal  suicide!  For  the  same  reasons  he  re- 
fuses to  avenge  the  blood  of  American  citizens  shed  in  Baltimore, 
in  the  peaceful  passage  to  the  seat  of  common  government. 

2.  But  the  President  will  not,  when  pressed  to  the  wall,  fail 
to  assert,  to  his  full  ability,  the  power  and  safety  of  the  National 
Government,  unless  the  people,  whose  servant  he  is,  shall  other- 
wise decree. 

3.  Any  attack  on  the  national  forces,  or  property  in  the  Dis- 
trict of  Columbia,  will  be  regarded  as  a  declaration  of  war,  and  a 
fatal  blow  to  all  hopes  of  peace. 

4.  He  will  not  deceive  Maryland  or  Virginia,  or  any  State,  by 
false  professions;  he  will  continue  to  strengthen  his  position  in  this 
place  of  national  exclusive  jurisdiction  at  all  hazards,  and  by  all  the 
defensive  means  in  his  power;  and  this  he  feels  abundantly  able  to  do. 

5.  Virginia  and  Maryland  may  keep  the  peace,  and  give  time 
for  the  passions  of  men  to  cool,  by  avoiding  invasion  of  the  Dis- 
trict, or  obstructing  our  movements.  Virginia  must  confine  herself 
to  her  own  soil. 

C.  M.  Clay. 

Copy:  attest  James  Milward. 
Vol.  I.  — 18 


274  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

agreements,    commence,   or    rather    renew,   the    war   when- 
ever we  were  prepared. 

Lincoln  agreed  with  me,  and  told  me  to  consult  with 
such  men  as  I  thought  worthy  of  the  direction  of  affairs, 
and  I  did  so;  going  to  Senator  Benj.  F.  Wade  of  Ohio, 
who  was  then  in  Washington,  among  others.  I  found 
Wade,  after  much  difficulty,  and  showed  him  my  memo- 
randa, to  which  he  agreed  at  once.  And  so  this  emis- 
sary, whether  authorized  or  not,  carried  back  our  assent, 
written  and  signed  by  me,  to  the  terms  he  had  proposed. 

Avenue  House,  April  23,    1861. 
Hon.  C.  M.  Clay  — 

Dear  Sir  :  —  I  shall  go  to  Alexandria  this  morning,  and  will 
not  know  whether  it  is  best  for  me  to  go  to  Richmond  till  I  go 
there.  I  feel  much  refreshed  this  morning  from  a  few  hours'  sleep, 
and  hope  now  to  be  able  to  work  for  the  cause  of  my  great  but 
bleeding  country.  I  may  find  Mason  at  Alexandria,  or  some  other 
person  with  whom  to  confer.  I  shall  appeal  for  peace  in  the  name 
of  the  Union  men  of  the  South ;  and  I  regret  that  the  Union  men 
in  that  section  do  not  know  that  they  are  represented  at  this  capital. 
I  am  fully  satisfied  that  it  is  not  your  wish,  nor  that  of  the  Ad- 
ministration, to  inaugurate  civil  war.  If  you  fight  in  the  defensive, 
every  right-minded  man  in  the  nation  will  sympathize  with  you  in 
your  efforts  to  avoid  a  collision.  I  am  here  not  as  a  partisan.  I 
came  here  in  the  name  of  the  suffering  Union  men  of  the  South. 
We  arc  for  our  country,  and  our  whole  country.  We  do  not  wish  to 
be  forced  to  take  a  position  that  would  sacrifice  us.  I  know  no 
flag  but  that  of  my  fathers,  and  wherever  that  goes  I  will  go.  But 
while  I  am  for  that  flag,  and  feel  that  it  has  received  many  indigni- 
ties, which  it  would  seem  necessary  to  avenge,  and  while  I  desire 
to  see  the  leaders  in  this  unnatural  war  punished,  yet  the  pro-Union 
men,  who  have  never  taken  any  part  in  this  struggle,  may  be  com- 
pelled to  take  a  position  in  antagonism  to  the  laws  of  this  country. 
We  are  not  willing  to  do  so,  if  we  can  avoid  it.  Such  a  war  as  this 
will  be  will  shock  humanity.  We  will  have  to  negotiate  at  some 
time  —  the  war  can  not  last  always.  Let  negotiation  commence 
now.     The  Government  is  powerful,  and  can  afford  to  be  generous. 

I  am,  sir,  respectfully  yours,  etc.,  in  the  bonds  of  Union, 

W.   R.   Henley. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  275 

I  returned  from  Europe  in  1869;  and,  entering  into  the 
Greeley  campaign  in  Ohio,  I  spoke  at  Xenia  in  1872. 
Benj.  F.  Wade  being  sent  for  to  answer  me,  he  there 
uttered  a  calumny.  He  said  I  came  to  him,  in  1861,  and 
asked  him  to  agree  to  the  "Crittenden  Compromise,"  when 
no  man  in  America  would  have  been  before  me  in  reject- 
ing such,  toleration  of  slavery,  and  which  would  have  made 
my  whole  life-work  a  miserable  failure  and  farce.  Such 
are  the  infamies  of  party  servitude  in  America. 

Scraps  of  History  —  An  Issue  of  Veracity  between  Benjamin  F.    Wade 

and  Cassius  M.  Clay. 

To  the  Editor  of  the  Richmond  (JSy.)  Register  — 

On  my  return  home  from  Indiana,  I  saw  to-day,  for  the  first 
time,  in  the  Cincinnati  Commercial  of  September  27,  ult. ,  Benj.  F. 
Wade's  speech  at  Xenia,  Ohio,  in  which  I  find  the  following  clauses 
in  reference  to  what  are  known  as  the  Crittenden  Resolutions: 

There  were  all  the  leading  men  of  the  Secession   Party  there :   Mr.   Davis,   Mr. 

Toombs,    Mr.   Mason,   Mr.   Slidell,   Mr.   Hunter,   and  some  others After 

we  adjourned  that  night  —  after  that  exhibition — I  went  to  bed,  not  in  very  good 
spirits.  In  the  night  Mr.  Clay — -Cassius  M.  Clay  —  appeared  to  me.  He  came  up 
in  my  room  late  in  the  night,  after  I  was  in  bed.  He  said  he  had  come  on  very 
important  business.  "Well,"  said  I,  "what  is  it?"  "I  have  been  trying  to  find 
you  all  day,  to  strengthen  some  of  our  weak  backs,"  said  he;  "it  won't  do.  I  tell 
you  the  pressure  is  too  great.  We  have  got  to  vote  for  these  resolutions.  It  must 
be  done,  and  you  must  help  us  do  it."  Says  I:  "I  will  do  no  such  thing."  [Good.] 
"I  am  astonished.  Is  this  Cassius  M.  Clay,  or  is  it  a  ghost?"  [Applause  and 
laughter.]  "I  said  that  to  him.  'Why,'  says  I,  'you  used  to  be  reputed  a  brave 
man,  and  I  have  been  hunting  you  all  day,  to  help  strengthen  me  and  my  weak 
brethren.'"  He  replied:  "Hear  me  through.  I  have  the  names  of  fourteen  Sena- 
tors on  this  paper  that  I  hold  in  my  hand,  and  they  have  all  agreed  that  if  you 
will  vote  for  these  resolutions  they  will."  "Well,"  said  I,  "Mr.  Clay,  then  you 
have  furnished  me  with  fourteen  additional  reasons  why  I  will  never  vote  for  them." 
[Applause.]  Said  I:  "I  will  see  the  capital  burned  before  I  will  commit  the  peo- 
ple of  the  North  to  the  humiliation  of  these  infernal  resolutions."  And  then  Mr. 
Clay  went  off;  and  I  will  confess  that  I  have  not  since  had  the  respect  for  him 
that  I  had  previously.  I  could  not  have,  because  it  altered  my  whole  opinion  of 
the  man.  I  thought  he  was  a  hero  that  would  stand  up  in  the  darkest  hour,  pistol 
in  hand,  if  necessary;  and  I  found  him  sneaking  into  my  chamber  there  in  order 
to  persuade  me  to  become  a  traitor  to  my  constituents. 

I  lately  spoke  in  Xenia,  where  I  quoted  extracts  from  Mr. 
Wade's  letter  to  me  on  the  Cuban  question,  which  letter  I  give 
from  the  original  in  my  possession : 


276  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

Jefferson,  February  3,  1870. 
Gentlemen:  —  I  have  received  your  letter  of  the  28th  ult.,  asking  me  to  ac- 
cept the  position  of  Vice-President  for  the  State  of  Ohio  of  the  "Cuban  Charitable 
Aid  Society."  I  accept  the  position  with  pleasure,  and  will  do  what  I  can  to  for- 
ward the  good  work.  I  am  astonished  at  the  apparent  indifference  of  our  great 
Republican  Party  to  the  fate  of  the  people  of  Cuba.  Are  they,  indeed,  weary  in 
well-doing,  or  do  they  still  favor  that  timorous,  halting,  hesitating  policy,  which 
added  more  than  half  to  the  blood  and  treasure  in  conquering  our  rebellion,  and 
in  giving  liberty  to  our  slaves  ?  One  brave  word  from  our  Administration  is  all 
sufficient  to  end  the  strife,  and  give  peace,  liberty,  and  justice  to  the  people  of 
that  island.  Shall  that  word  be  spoken?  We  shall  be  dishonored  as  a  nation  if  it 
is  not.     But,  whether  spoken  or  not,  Cuba  must  and  shall  be  free. 

Yours,  with  respect,  B.  F.  Wade. 

Hon.  C.  M.  Clay,  etc. 

P.  S.  —  I  have  read  with  great  satisfaction  the  abstract  of  your  speech,  and 
indorse  and  approve  every  word  of  it.  B.   F.   W. 

My  speech  denounced  the  cowardly  policy  of  the  immortal 
Fish.  And  now  Mr.  Wade  is  found,  since  Grant  sent  him  to  San 
Domingo,  dumb  as  an  oyster  about  Cuba,  and  calumniating  all 
those  who  stand  to  his  word  of  revolt  from  the  President  and  party, 
who  have  not  yet  spoken  that  "one  brave  word!  " 

Mr.  Wade's  utterances  about  me  are  absolutely  false  in  the  sum 
and  the  detail.  I  never  went,  in  1861,  to  Washington  till  after  the 
adjournment  of  Congress.  (See  telegram  and  letter  on  page  278.) 
I  saw  Jeff.  Davis  in  the  Mexican  War,  and  never  since.  I  do  not 
remember  to  have  ever  seen  Mason,  Slidell,  etc.;  they  had  all  left 
Washington  before  I  got  there.  I  never  was  for  Crittenden's  or 
any  other  compromise,  short  of  the  abolition  of  slavery,  in  my  life ; 
and  Crittenden's  Compromise  was  voted  down  by  118  to  80,  on  the 
27th  of  February,  1 861 !  I  never  was  in  confidence,  or  ever  met 
in  council,  with  the  compromisers,  in  Washington,  or  elsewhere,  at 
any  time.  I  never  had  on  my  list  the  names  of  fourteen  Senators, 
or  any  other  number,  in  such,  or  any  other  case.  I  never  asked 
Mr.  Wade  to  compromise  the  slavery  or  any  other  question ;  and 
all  his  allegations  of  fact  and  conversation  are  absolute  falsehoods. 
When  the  South  threatened  war,  I,  from  the  balcony  at  Willard's, 
spoke,  in  1861,  in  favor  of  the  liberation  of  all  the  blacks,  and  of 
their  being  made  soldiers.  When  I  returned  from  Russia,  in  1862, 
I  again  took  the  same  ground;  and  could  not  get  my  speeches  pub- 
lished in  any  of  the  Republican  journals  for  money,  and  was  forced 
to  published  them  in  pamphlet  form. 

After  hostilities  were  threatened,  —  and  whilst  I  and  Senator 
Lane,   of  Kansas,   were  commanding  the  volunteer  forces  at  Wash- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  277 

ington,  in  defense  of  the  President,  regular  army,  an  such  Senators 
as  Wade  (who  slept  in  bed,  instead  of  coming,  like  many  Senators, 
Ex-Governors,  and  Congressmen,  to  our  arsenal  and  head-quarters, 
in  Willard's  Theater,)  —  I  was  much  in  the  confidence  of  A.  Lin- 
coln ;  and,  being  virtually  in  command  of  the  city,  Will.  R.  Henley,  a 
Union  man,  came  to  me  on  a  mission,  which  his  letter  (on  page  274) 
will  best  explain.  Washington  was  full  of  traitors,  especially  in  the 
regular  army,  and  we  wanted  time  for  reinforcements,  and  to  allow 
the  South  to  cool,  and  our  Union  friends  at  least  to  save  them- 
selves. Our  .ships  were  scuttled  in  the  Potomac,  and  our  railroads 
and  telegraph  lines  with  the  North  were  cut.  Henley  appeared  in 
good  time.  I  presented  his  proposal  to  Lincoln,  and  asked  him  to 
allow  me  to  answer  it;  to  which  he  agreed,  requesting  me  to  show 
it  to  some  of  the  most  prominent  Republicans  then  in  Washington. 
Among  others,  I  sought  B.  F.  Wade.  It  was  night;  he  was  not 
in  his  usual  quarters,  but  stored  away  with  some  friend,  evidently 
so  much  frightened  as  to  take  any  one  for  "a  ghost."  I  showed 
him  the  Henley  memoranda,  and  asked  his  advice ;  and  he  fully 
indorsed  them.  Wade  now  stands  convicted  of  wilful  calumny,  or 
base  cowardice,  or  both.  He  evidently  confounds  this  interview 
with  the  Crittenden  Compromise,  which  dates  show  to  be  impos- 
sible. Henley  went  on  his  mission.  Northern  troops  arrived ;  the 
Capital  was  saved. 

If  Mr.  Henley  yet  lives  he  will  bear  witness  to  the  truth  of 
all  this.  I  acted,  not  on  my  own  responsibility,  but  by  Mr.  Lin- 
coln's instructions  in  every  particular;  drawing  up  the  memoran- 
dum, and  he  indorsing  it  verbally,  thus  avoiding  any  responsi- 
bility on  his  part  as  President,  yet  giving  sufficient  pledge  to 
Henley  of  our  intended  fidelity.  So  we  stood  faithful  to  the  truce 
till  the  rebels  violated  it.  Thus,  one  after  another,  my  calumnia- 
tors are  put  to  shame,  and  history  stands  vindicated ;  how  much 
to  my  honor,   I  leave  others  to  avow. 

C.   M.   Clay. 
White  Hall,  Ky.,   October  17,  1872. 

I  spoke  in  Washington  in  favor  of  war  (see  speech, 
January  26,  1861),  and  immediately  returned  home,  where 
the  following  telegrams  and  letters  reached  me.  I  spoke, 
after  the  adjournment  of  Congress,  in  the  same  tone,  in 
1 86 1.  All  this,  published  in  Wade's  lifetime,  has  never 
been  denied: 


278  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

Western   Union    Telegraphic   Company,   to   Madison   C.  Johnson  for  C. 

M.    Clay: 

[Received  at  Lexington  March  27,    1S61 .] 

By  telegraph  from  Washington,  March  26,  1861 :  It  is  important 
that  Schurz  should  have  a  place  in  Europe.  I  advise  you  to  take 
Russia  instead  of  Spain.      You  will  make  immense  capital  by  it. 

M.   Blair. 

Washington,  D.  C,  March  26,   1861. 
Hon.  C.   M.   Clay  — 

Dear  Clay  :  —  It  seems  that  Seward  has  contrived  to  fill  every 
first-class  mission  in  Europe,  which  Carl  Schurz  could  accept,  with- 
out providing  for  that  gentleman ;  and  now  it  is  expected  that  he 
is  to  accept  some  place  of  inferior  grade,  or  be  left  out  in  the 
cold  altogether.  In  this  condition  of  affairs,  the  President  author- 
ized the  Judge  to  telegraph  you,  to  know  whether  you  would 
take  the  Russian  mission,  which  I  believe  is  $17,000  per  annum, 
and  thus  open  the  Spanish  mission  to  Schurz.  I  think  if  you 
would  do  this,  it  would  be  a  great  thing  for  you,  and  would  give 
you  great  hold  on  the  Germans,  and  the  radical  men  of  the  party, 
who  feel  that  this  embarrassment  is  a  contrivance  of  Seward's, 
from  which  we  would  be  relieved  by  your  magnanimity.  I  trust 
you  will  see  this  in  the  light  in  which  it  appears  to  all  your 
friends  here,  and  do  yourself  a  credit  and  honor  in  the  act,  and 
at  the  same  time  you  will  have  the  most  splendid  court  in  Europe. 
Schurz  will  not  be  received  in  that  court,  on  account  of  his  being 
a  political  refugee,  and  this  is  the  only  reason  why  it  is  not  ten- 
dered him.  F.   P.   Blair. 

The  Henley  correspondence  and  my  speeches  (to  be 
found  in  Vol.  II.  of  this  work,)  at  Washington,  also  the 
following,  are  all  in  proof  that  I  was  not  in  Washington 
City  in  February,  1861,  when  the  Crittenden  Compromise 
Resolutions  were   discussed   and  voted  upon  in  Congress : 

War  Department,  Washington,  D.  C. ,  April  22,   1861. 
Col.  Cassius  M.  Clay  — 

Dear  Sir:  —  Your  note  of  this  morning  is  received.  An  order 
has  been  issued  to  the  Ordnance  Department  to  furnish  you  with 
arms  as  requested.     Very  respectfully,  Simon  Cameron, 

Secretary  of  War. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  279 

As  usual,  there  were  continual  assaults  by  the  Seward 
taction,  and  corrupt  expectants  of  official  favors,  uoon  me 
whilst  in  Kentucky  quietly  awaiting  events.  Many  of 
these  put  me  with  the  compromisers,  to  which  I  made  no 
reply;  as  it  was  just  as  important  for  Jeff.  Davis  to  de- 
fend himself  against  being  a  Disunionist,  as  for  me  to 
vindicate  myself  from  such  charges.  I  append  a  few  lines 
from  friends,  which  might  be  raised  to  a  volume : 

New  York  Evening  Post,   1 86 1. 

Cassius  M.  Clay  is  strongly  urged  for  the  War  Department,  and 
is  a  personal  favorite  of  Mr.  Lincoln.  A  delegation  from  New 
York  was  here  lately  bespeaking  his  appointment  as  one  likely  to 
gratify  the  friends  of  freedom  every-where ;  and  to  insure  the  effi- 
cient management  of  that  highly  important  department.  If  he  is 
not  chosen,  it  will  be  solely  from  the  circumstances  over  which  Mr. 
Lincoln  has  no  control,  and  for  which  he  (Clay)  is  in  no  wise  re- 
sponsible. 

New   York  World,    1861. 

CASSIUS  M.  CLAY. 
To  the  Editor  of  the   World — 

That  Mr.  Lincoln  will  be  able  to  satisfy  every  body  by  his 
cabinet  appointments  is  not  to  be  expected ;  and  it  would  seem 
quite  within  the  province  of  wisdom  for  that  same  every  body  to 
defer  worriment  untill  we  all  learn  authoritatively  who  is  to  be,  in 
fact,  secretary  of  this,  that,  and  the  other.  But,  with  your  yester- 
day's leader  for  my  text,  I  hazard  the  guess  that  Mr.  Lincoln's 
appointment  of  Cassius  M.  Clay  to  the  War  Secretaryship  would 
be  indorsed  by  a  louder  popular  voice  than  any  other  appointment 
the  incoming  President  could  make.  Mr.  Clay  is  not  only  fairly 
upon  the  Republican  platform,  but  his  Republicanism  dates  back 
further  than  that  of  any  prominent  member  of  the  party.  His  name 
is,  indeed,  the  very  synonym  of  free  soil,  free  speech,  free  men, 
and  a  free  press.  His  life  has  exemplified,  as  that  of  no  other  man 
has,  the  principles  which,  of  late  years,  have  compelled  the  respect, 
and  secured  the  concurrence,  of  all  who  love  liberty  in  its  largest 
sense.  He  is  not  an  Abolitionist,  although  the  scenes  at  Berea  last 
spring  indorse  his  claim  to  the  title  of  defender  of  that  faith.  His 
course  in  Kentucky  has  been  that  of  persistent,  consistent  opposi- 
tion to  the  enslavement  of  the  North  by  the  South.      He  has  raised 


280  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

his  warning  voice,  and  his  stalwart  arm,  against  the  slave  oligarchy, 
whose  encroachments  steadily  monopolized  the  control  of  every  ave- 
nue of  power  in  the  Federal  Government.  As  an  Emancipationist, 
Mr.  Clay  desires,  with  a  practical  persistency,  the  removal  of  the 
curse  of  slavery,  where  votes  can  effect  that  removal.  But  those 
who  know  him  are  well  aware  that  he  equally  longs  for  the  free- 
dom of  white  men  in  the  slave  States  to  speak  their  sentiments 
without  being  banished,   gagged,   or  murdered. 

A  word  as  to  his  position  in  the  party.  Mr.  Clay  is  flat- 
footedly  and  whole-heartedly  upon  the  Republican  platform.  The 
great  heart  of  the  party  pulsates  in  sympathy  with  him  and  his 
courageous  course.  The  present  status  of  the  party  owes  much  to 
his  brave  banner-bearing  in  a  State,  and  under  circumstances,  un- 
favorable to  the  principles  he  has  spent  his  life  in  practicing.  This 
has  been  fully  recognized  by  the  Republicans  in  the  ovations  which 
have  every-where  accompanied  his  journeyings  and  addresses;  in 
the  enthusiasm  enkindled  whenever  his  name  is  referred  to ;  in 
the  vote  given  him  at  Chicago  for  the  nomination  of  Vice-President; 
and,  lastly,  in  the  fact  itself  that  his  name  is  now  so  constantly 
connected  with  the  Secretaryship  of  War.  This  appointment  would 
doubtless  have  been  his  had  Fremont  carried  the  canvass  in  1856. 
What  might  have  been  throught  proper  in  the  infancy  of  the  party, 
certainly  can  not  now  be  deemed  improper  —  the  party  having  risen 
in  its  strength  and  asserted  its  manhood  and  maturity. 

When  it  is  remembered  that  the  name  of  Cassius  M.  Clay  was 
received,  invariably,  at  Chicago,  in  that  representative  convention, 
with  acclamations  and  enthusiasm  equalled  only  by  the  furor  in 
favor  of  Lincoln  and  Seward,  and  that  his  vote  for  the  Vice- 
Presidency  placed  him  just  where  the  Philadelphia  Convention  of 
.1856  placed  Mr.  Lincoln,  it  seems  to  some  of  us  a  little  too  late 
to  find  fault  with  Mr.  Clay's  Republicanism,  or  to  attempt  to  read 
him  out  of  the  party.  F.   W.    B. 

From  the  New  York  Evening  Post. 
CASSIUS  M.  CLAY  AS  SECRETARY  OF  WAR. 

The  following  resolutions  were  unanimously  adopted  at  a  recent 
meeting  of  the  board  of  control  of  the  New- York  Young  Men's 
Republican   Union: 

Resolved,  That  we  disclaim  for  ourselves  and  for  the  Repub- 
licans of  New  York  all  thoughts  of  compromise  in  the  face  of 
resisting    danger   and    angry  threats  —  believing    that  a  government 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  28 1 

temporarily  sustained  by  such  means  must  be  degraded  in  the 
estimation  of  the  world,  and  remain,  during  its  further  uncertain 
term  of  continuance,   a  scorn  and  a  by-word  among  men. 

Resolved,  That  we  indorse  in  advance  any  action  proposed,  by 
the  incoming  administration  which  shall  present  a  firm,  unyielding 
front  of  opposition  to  traitors,  and  which  shall  indicate  a  policy 
devoted  solely  to  the  enforcement  of  the  laws,  the  upholding  of 
the  Constitution,  and  the  perpetuity  of  the  Union. 

Resolved,  That  the  preservation  of  the  Union  being  the  press- 
ing exigency  of  the  hour,  we  earnestly  recommend,  with  that 
view,  the  appointment,  as  Secretary  of  War  under  the  President 
elect,  of  Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay,  of  Kentucky,  whose  character 
and  past  career  give  abundant  warrant  that,  by  his  wise  counsels 
and  his  well-tested  energy,  the  new  administration  will  be  strength- 
ened in  the  discharge  of  duty,  the  Union  preserved,  rebellion 
checked,   and  treason  punished. 

From  the  Erie  (Pa.)   Gazette. 
CASSIUS    M.    CLAY. 

We  see  by  an  exchange  that  Mr.  Lincoln  has  Mr.  Clay's  name 
under  favorable  consideration  in  connection  with  his  constitutional 
advisers.  This  is  as  it  should  be.  A  man  of  Mr.  Clay's  power 
and  ability,  a  man  who  rendered  such  eloquent  and  effective  service 
during  the  late  victorious  contest,  should  not  be  left  out  in  the  cold 
by  the  incoming  administration. 

If  an  administration  would  succeed,  it  must  call  around  it  its 
representative  men.  Mr.  Clay  is  such.  He  is,  and  has  been,  a 
Republican,  when  our  principles  were  not  only  unpopular,  but  where 
it  was  not  safe  to  avow,  or  even  eitiertain  them.  He  has  for  twenty 
years  defended  our  principles,  and  the  rights  of  a  down-trodden 
humanity,  with  violence,  mobs,  and  assassination  staring  him  in  the 
face.  He  long  since  enlisted  with  our  principles  in  one  hand,  and 
his  life  in  the  other;  the  former  have  been  trampled  upon,  the 
latter  more  than  once  has  been  in  jeopardy.  His  press  was  mob- 
bed, and  his  property  destroyed,  although  defended  by  him  with  a 
heroism  not  excelled  by  any  in  the  annals  of  history. 

His  loyalty  to  our  principles,  and  the  enunciation  of  his  views, 
compelled  him  to  shake  hands  and  part  company  with  kindred  and 
neighbors;  his  life  since  that  time  in  "Kentucky  has  been  but  little 
better  than  that  of  an  outcast  in  society,  his  friendships  and  social 
relations  all  sundered;  his   fate,   to    that  political  preferment  in  the 


282  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES. 

land  of  his  nativity,  and  which  his  talent  so  eminently  fitted  him 
for,  forever  sealed ;  and  now,  when  an  administration  has  it  in  its 
power  to  gladden  and  cheer  the  hearts  of  a  family  circle  long  since 
made  desolate  by  a  worse  than  despotic  proscription,  for  devotion 
to  principle,  by  conferring  power  and  position,  and  thus  honoring 
the  hero,  to  whom  honor  is  due,  and  clothing  him  with  the  pano- 
ply of  Government,  which  he  has  shed  his  blood  even  to  protect, 
defend,  and  build  up,  is  it  not  a  duty  to  do  it?  Kentucky,  slave- 
holding  Kentucky,  whose  soil  has  been  enriched  by  Clay's  blood, 
might  answer  no  ;  but  a  free  North,  a  grateful  nation,  with  one 
accord,  say  yes. 

Nothing  short  of  a  recognition  such  as  this  will  give  to  Mr. 
Clay  that  security  which  he  and  his  household  gods  have  been 
denied  for  long,  long  years;  and  save  him  from  the  mortification 
and  humiliation  which  would  follow  the  exultation  of  his  enemies 
not  only  at  home,   but  North  and  South. 

The  same  paper,  the  following  week. 

Our  article  last  week  on  Cassius  M.  Clay  meets  the  cordial 
indorsement  of  the  press  of  this  portion  of  the  State.  It  expresses 
the  sentiments  of  the  people  with  regard  to  this  tried  advocate  of 
Republicanism. 

Among  the  young  Republicans  of  New  York,  who  ever 
most  honored  and  defended  me,  I  may  name  Cephas  Brai- 
nerd,  G.  P.  Edgar,  D.  H.  Gildersleeve,  Wm.  M.  Franklin, 
Frank  W.  Ballard,  R.  C.  McCormick,  Dexter  A.  Hawkins, 
C.  C.  Nott,  Charles  H.  Cooper,  C.  T.  Rodgers,  Erasmus 
Sterling,  Benj.  F.  Mannierre,  Hiram  Barney,  Mark  Hoyt, 
and  William  Ross  Wallace. 


CHAPTER    XV. 


Leaving  Washington;  An  Adventure. — At  Sea. — Chari.es  Francis  Adams. — 
British  Parliament. — Lord  Brougham. — Lord  Palmerston. —  Mrs.  Stowe 
at  Stafford  House. — My  "'Times'  Letter." — J.  Lathrop  Motley. — Let- 
ter of  John  Bright. — Public  Breakfast  given  me  in  Paris. — Reception  by 
the  Czar.— The  Russian  Court. — L.  Q.  C.  Lamar.— Diplomacy  as  a  Pro- 
fession.— Her  Imperial  Majesty,  the  Empress. — Note  from  the  Princess 
Radziwill. 


THE  road  to  Philadelphia  not  being  yet  practical,  and 
the  railroad  to  Baltimore  being  broken  up,  I  packed 
my  trunks,  to  be  sent  by  the  usual  route  as  soon  as 
possible,  and  set  out  by  rail,  as  far  as  it  went,  for  An- 
napolis, Maryland.  An  editor  of  Cleveland,  Ohio,  (E.  W. 
Cowles,  I  think,)  anxious  to  get  out  of  Washington,  ac- 
companied me. 

After  walking  a  long  time,  we  were  much  fatigued ; 
and,  calling  at  a  planter's  house,  were  well  entertained. 
I  had  not  supposed  that  my  name  would  be  mentioned  by 
Mr.  Cowles,  who  was  so  imprudent  as  to  call  me  properly. 
Now,  there  was  no  man  in  America  more  odious  to  the 
South  than  myself;  and  my  late  movement  against  the 
rebels  in  Washington  would  not  tend  to  propitiate  the 
Slave-power.  I  had  been  trapped  by  the  imprudence  of 
others  at  Encarnacion ;  and  now  I  feared  that,  after  we 
retired  to  bed,  the  neighbors  might  be  collected,  and  I 
made  prisoner  again.  So,  as  soon  as  my  fellow-traveler 
was  asleep,  I  dressed  myself,  and  quietly  went  on  my 
journey,  without  taking  leave  of  any  one.  About  day- 
light I  reached  Annapolis,  and  reported  to  General  B.  F. 
Butler,  who  received  me  cordially.  Having  left  my  cravat 
at  the   farm-house,  the  general   gave   me   one  of  his   own. 

283 


284  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

The  next  day  I  took  a  steamer,  and  in  due  time  joined  my 
family  in  Philadelphia. 

Finding  a  ship  of  the  Cunard  line  was  about  to  sail 
from  Boston  for  Liverpool,  I  went  directly  on  to  that  city. 
Charles  Francis  Adams  sailed  on  the  same  ship ;  and  we 
were  both  enthusiastically  cheered  by  a  large  concourse  of 
Bostonians,  who  had  come '  down  to  see  us  off.  Adams 
and  I  had  been  placed  in  an  unpleasant  attitude  toward 
each  other,  as  he  and  Seward  were,  of  course,  good 
friends,  and  I  and  Seward  open  enemies.  So  we  hardly 
spoke  a  word  to  each  other  during  the  voyage.  Robert 
J.  Walker,  once  a  Cabinet  Minister,  was  now  a  Unionist 
with  us.     I  found  him  very  agreeable. 

I  did  not  enjoy  the  sea,  though  not  much  sea-sick.  It 
was  to  me  then  and  ever  but  a  waste  of  waters,  void  of 
visible  animal  and  vegetable  life,  which  are  the  loveliest 
features  of  nature. 

I  spent  but  one  night  in  Liverpool ;  and  only  ran 
ashore  a  few  hours  at  Queenstovvn,  in  the  Green  Isle. 
From  Liverpool  we  went  by  rail  to  London,  getting  there 
by  night.  Parliament  was  then  in  session,  and  all  the 
hotels  werej^lll.  I  had  great  difficulty  in  getting  lodg- 
ings for  the  night.  By  hard  persuasion  we  got  the  ladies 
apartments  ;  and  I  and  my  Secretary  of  Legation,  Green 
Clay,  son  of  my  brother,  Brutus  J.  Clay,  and  suite,  found 
quarters  in  an  obscure  hotel.  Next  day  we  went  to  Mor- 
ley's,  where  Americans  mostly  resort. 

Mr.  Forster  and  other  liberal  members  of  Parliament 
were  quite  polite  to  me,  he  inviting  Mr.  Adams  and  my- 
self to  breakfast  at  his  house,  where  we  met  several  gen- 
tlemen of  the  Liberal  Party,  as  they  were  then  called. 

I  spent  all  my  time,  whilst  in  London,  in  the  two 
houses  of  Parliament,  which,  most  of  all  things,  interested 
me.  Lord  Palmerston  was  then  Prime  Minister,  and 
D'Israeli  leader  of  the  opposition.  I  was  fortunate  in 
hearing  both  of  these  noted  men  make  set  speeches. 
D'Israeli,  who   had    a    long,  rather  sallow,    but    intelligent, 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  285 

face,  with  very  dark  hair  and  eyes,  was  well-dressed  and 
polished  in  his  manner,  and  elegant  and  labored  in  his 
oratory.  Of  course,  such  a  man  was  always  listened  to 
with  interest.  Palmerston  was  a  typical  Englishman,  with 
sturdy  frame,  and  rather  round  and  heavy  head,  and  feat- 
ures of  the  blond  type.  I  soon  saw  that  his  forte  lay  in 
his  severe  common-sense.  With  a  few  sentences  he  had 
the  house  in  an  uproar  of  laughter;  and  thereby  the  op- 
position speech  was  flattened  out.  Of  course,  I  heard 
other  speeches;   but  they  were  of  little  interest. 

The  women  of  England  were,  to  my  astonishment, 
allowed  no  place  in  the  British  House  of  Commons ;  and 
I  had  been  some  time  in  the  hall  before  I  observed  them 
in  a  crowded  gallery,  with  lattice-work  all  over  the  front, 
like  parrots  in  a  cage! 

In  the  House  of  Lords  I  also  was  fortunate  in  hear- 
ing Lord  Brougham,  who  had  won  reputation  in  the 
United  States  as  a  Liberal,  and  especially  as  an  anti- 
slavery  advocate  of  universal  liberty.  It  so  happened 
that  a  petition  was  sent  to  him,  from  some  anti-slavery 
men  and  women,  asking  aid  for  the  Union  cause  in 
America,  which  was  read.  Now  I  had  form<s6  the  high- 
est and  most  grateful  admiration  for  the  British  Anti- 
Slavery  Party,*  having   had  correspondence  with  many  of 

From  the  London  Daily  News,  May  9,  1848. 
*MRS.    H.   B.    STOWE    AT    STAFFORD    HOUSE. 

On  Saturday  last  a  number  of  ladies  and  gentlemen  assembled 
at  Stafford  House,  to  welcome  Mrs.  H.  B.  Stowe  to  this  country, 
and  to  give  expression  personally  to  the  respect  and  admiration 
which  are  felt  for  that  lady. 

Among  those  present  were  observed  the  Duke  and  Duchess 
of  Sutherland,  the  Duke  and  Duchess  of  Argyll,  the  Earl  and 
Countess  of. Shaftesbury,  Lord  John  Russell,  Lord  Palmerston,  the 
Earl  of  Carlisle,  Right  Hon.  W.  Gladstone,  the  Marquis  of  Lans- 
downe,  the  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  Mrs.  and  Miss  Whately,  Lord 
Ebrington,  Lord  Blantyre,  Mr.  Russell  Gurney,  Lord  Claude  Ham- 
ilton, Lord  Glenelg,  the  Dean  of  St.  Paul's,  the  Rev.  Dr.  and  Mrs. 


286  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

them,  including  Thomas  Clarkson.  I  had  also  received 
an  elegant  print  of  the  Slave-trade  on  the  Coast  of 
Africa,  framed  in  rose-wood  and  gold,  from  these  gen- 
tlemen. What  was  my  horror,  then,  when  Brougham 
said  to  the  speaker,  that  this  question  of  slavery  in  Amer- 

Kinnaird,  Dowager  Countess  of  Carlisle,  Mr.  Tom  Taylor,  the  Rev. 
Edmund  Holland,  Mr.  and  the  Misses  J.  W.  Alexander,  the  Earl 
of  Harrowby,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  T.  Horman  Fisher,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Al- 
sop,  the  Misses  Allen,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cornelius  Hanbury,  Mr.  H. 
Harwood,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Spicer,  Mr.  Elmsley,  Miss  Pringle,  Mrs. 
Elmsley,  Miss  Seeley,  and  Miss  Webster,  Mrs.  and  Miss  Gurney, 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jos.  Tritton,  the  Chevalier  Bunsen,  Mrs.  Mary  Howitt, 
Lady  Dover,  Rev.  P.  Latrobe,  Mr.  Ernest  Bunsen,  Mr.  and  Miss 
Benson,  Rev.  Mr.  Beecher,  Mr.  H.  E.  Gurney,  Mrs.  Price,  Sir 
Robert  H.  Inglis,  Right  Hon.  H.  Labouchere,  Mr.  Higgins,  Col. 
Maclean,  Right  Hon.  T.  B.  Macaulay,  Mr.  George,  Lady  Louisa 
and  Miss  Finch,  Mr.  Monckton  Milnes,  Hon.  W.  Ashley,  Sir 
David  Dundas,  Hon.  C.  Howard,  Captain  J.  Trotter,  Dr.  and  Mrs, 
Sutherland,  Mrs.  Grainger,  the  Misses  Rudall,  Rev.  R.  Burgess, 
Rev.  T.  Binney  and  Mrs.  Binney,  Sir  E.  N.  Buxton,  Mr.  T.  Fow- 
ell  Buxton,  Rev.  Dr.  Steane,  Mr.  J.  Conder,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J. 
Cook  Evans,  Rev.  J.  Sherman,  Mr.  Fowler,  Mr.  G.  Oliphant,  Mr. 
John  MacGregor,   etc.,   etc. 

The  company  on  their  arrival  were  ushered  through  the  mag- 
nificent suite  of  rooms  on  the  principal  floor  to  the  picture  gallery 
at  the  east  end,  where  the  Duchess  of  Sutherland  and  a  distin- 
guished party  received  her  guests.  Mrs.  Beecher  Stowe,  accom- 
panied by  her  husband,  Professor  Stowe,  her  brother,  and  Rev. 
Mr.  Binney,  with  whom  she  is  at  present  staying,  was  cordially 
welcomed  by  her  Grace.  Mrs.  Stowe  is  rather  below  the  middle 
size.  She  was  neatly  but  plainly  attired ;  and,  wearing  no  head- 
dress, her  appearance  formed  a  remarkable  contrast  with  the  nu- 
merous groups  of  ladies  arrayed  in  all  the  brilliancy  and  variety  of 
demi-toilette. 

The  Duke  of  Sutherland  having  introduced  Mrs.  Stowe  to  the 
assembly,  the  following  short  address  was  read  and  presented  to 
her  by  the  Earl  of  Shaftesbury: 

Madam:  —  I  am  deputed  by  the  Duchess  of  Sutherland,  and  the  ladies  of  the 
two  Committees  appointed  to  conduct  '-The  Address  from  the  Women  of  England 
to  the  Women  of  America,"  on   the  subject  of  slavery,   to   express   the  high  gratifi- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  287 

ica  was  a  delicate  one,  which  they  had  best  not  interfere 
with ;  and  asked  that  the  petition,  without  further  com- 
ment, be  laid  upon  the  table  —  placed  in  eternal  silence! 
This  was  a  new  and  terrible  revelation  to  me ;  and  I 
can  not  better  compare  my  feelings  than  to  imagine  those 

cation  they  feel  in  your  presence  among  them  this  day.  The  address,  which  has 
received  considerably  more  than  half  a  million  of  the  signatures  of  the  women  of 
Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  they  have  already  transmitted  to  the  United  States,  con- 
signing it  to  the  care  of  those  whom  you  have  nominated  as  fit  and  zealous  per- 
sons to  undertake  the  charge  in  your  absence.  The  earnest  desire  of  these  Com- 
mittees, and,  indeed,  we  may  say  of  the  whole  Kingdom,  is  to  cultivate  the  most 
friendly  and  affectionate  relations  between  the  two  countries,  and  we  can  not  but 
believe  that  we  are  fostering  such  a  feeling  when  we  avow  our  deep  admiration  of 
an  American  lady,  who,  blessed  by  the  possession  of  vast  genius  and  intellectual 
power,  enjoys  the  still  higher  blessing,  that  she  devotes  them  to  the  glory  of  God, 
and  the  temporal  and  eternal  interests  of  the  human  race. 

Rev.  Mr.  Beecher,  Mrs.  Stowe's  brother,  after  a  few  prefatory- 
remarks  of  acknowledgment  and  thanks,  read  the  following  letter 
which  had  been  written  to  his  sister: 

My  Dear  Mrs.  H.  B.  Stowe: —  ....  While  I  am  fully  sensible  of  the 
small  results  of  my  efforts  in  the  cause  of  emancipation,  I  will  not  deny  that  your 
appreciation  gives  me  great  pleasure,  and,  I  trust,  not  ignoble  pride.  Alas!  without 
such  kind  and  cheering  words,  which  I  have  received  from  many  sources,  how  could 
I  have  stood  so  long  up  against  such  odds?  However  much  Providence  had  gifted 
me  with  an  iron  purpose,  the  loss  of  caste  in  the  social  circle  in  which  we  have  been 
used  to  move  is  hard;  the  obscurity  from  which  the  most  fervent  ambition  can  not 
rescue  us  is  hard ;  the  peril  of  good  name,  of  life,  and  limb,  is  hard ;  but  harder  than 
all  is  the  reflection  that  we  are  forever  unappreciated  by  those  for  whom  we  sacrifice 
our  all.  For  if  we  fall,  our  memory  perishes  ;  the  most  melancholy  idea  of  Siberian 
exile  is  the  extinction  of  the  name,  when  the  burial-stone  not  even  marks  the  ashes 
of  the  past.  The  history  of  mankind,  therefore,  presents  few  instances  of  sacrifice  for 
the  inferior  castes.  The  Gracci  fell  in  defense  of  the  rights  of  the  poor ;  and  the 
winners  in  the  contest  branded  their  names  with  infamy  from  which  the  late  justice 
of  history  can  hardly  rescue  them.  It  remained  only  to  the  Divine  Messenger  of  our 
faith  thus  to  suffer  and  to  conquer. 

Our  plans  of  procedure  in  this  cause  are  simple.  We  follow  in  the  lead  of  our 
hearts  rather  than  our  intelligence;  for  I  am  not  insensible  of  the  almost  indestructi- 
ble power  of  the  slave-holders.  I  venture  to  say  that  never  before  was  an  aristocracy 
based  on  such  firm  basis.  Slavery  embraces  almost  all  the  talent,  the  learning,  and 
the  bodily  energy  of  the  people.  If  the  slave-holders  had  only  the  two  first,  and  the 
mass  of  the  people  the  last,  we  could  be  to  them  leaders,  and  they  to  us  power  ;  but 
alas!  whenever,  in  the  course  of  events,  men  of  action  spring  up.  the  first  want  of 
accumulated  wealth  is  menial  service,  which  here  can  only  be  slave -labor.  Thus  the 
ownership  of  slaves  places  them  at  once  on  the  side  of  the  men  in  power. 

Can  we  persuade  men  to  lay  down  power?  Can  the  luxurious  be  induced  to 
cease  from  luxury?     Can  the  lame  walk,  or  the  blind  see? 

On  the  other  hand,  can  we  infuse  spirit  and  manliness  into  hereditary  depend- 


288  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

of  the  followers  of  Thomas  Moore's  Veiled  Prophet,  when 
the  horrible  features  of  his  assumed  divinity  were  revealed 
to  them. 

J.  Lothrop  Motley,  the  Dutch  historian,  who  was  then 
living  with  his  interesting  family  in  London,  seemed  to  be 
quite   a    favorite    in    the    highest    official    circles.      He   was 

ence?  Can  we  make  men  firm  when  their  bread  wastes  away?  Alas!  are  not  the 
dependent  whites  the  slaves  of  the  slaves? 

Still  we  "never  give  up  the  ship,"  because  to  give  it  up  is  to  give  up  our  idea 
of  God  ;  we  can  not  give  it  up,  because  it  would  be  to  despair  of  all  eventual  eleva- 
tion of  the  human  race;  we  can  not  give  it  up,  because  our  soul  lives  upon  the  bread 
of  justice,  of  mercy,   and  of  truth.       We  perish  with    hunger,   we  must  eat,  and  eat 

of  them  only We  trust  in  Providence,  but  we  trust  with  our  shoulder  to 

the  wheel.  By  agitation  we  prepare  the  minds  of  the  ruling  powers  for  change.  That, 
at  least,  think  they,  can  not  be  so  insufferable  which  so  many  men  of  all  climes  SO' 
earnestly  crave.  Thus  you  of  the  North  aid  us ;  thus  England  aids  us ;  thus  France 
aids  us;  thus  the  outcry  of  all  mankind  aids  us.  This,  then,  is,  perhaps,  in  my  time, 
the  mission  of  the  Free  Soil  Party  in  the  slave  States  —  to  take  care  to  keep  untram- 
meled  the  freedom  of  speech  and  the  press,  and  be  the  trumpet-tongued  messenger  of 
truth  and  the  conscience  of  mankind. 

This  is  the  way  of  Providence  —  the  undying  aspirations  for  the  right  in  the 
hearts  of  all  true  men  and  women.  This  is  the  Divine.  All  humble  and  obscure  as- 
I  am,  I  am  yet  too  proud  to  flatter  any  one;  but  honor  to  you  that  you  have  not 
buried  your  talent,  nor  repined  against  Him  as  a  hard  master.  "Uncle  Tom's 
Cabin  "  is  the  fruit  of  the  embryo  inspiration  which  God  has  planted  in  every  soul. 
Be  of  good  cheer ;  you  will  not  have  lived  in  vain  through  long  centuries.  Yes,  I 
feel,  when  slavery  shall  be  no  more,  you  have  erected  a  shrine  around  which  the 
humble,  the  fainting,  the  famishing  will  gather,  and  be  comforted  and  strengthened, 
and  be  at  peace  with  men  and  trustful  of  God. 

Mrs.  Clay  gladly  accepts  the  office  of  Committeeman  on  the  reception  of  the 
address  of  the  ladies  of  England,  provided  it  be  not  too  late.  It  has  been  the  solace 
of  long  years  of  painful  effort,  that  she  appreciates  my  principles  and  my  purposes. 
Though  all  the  world  is  lost,  home  is  secure. 

The  vote  cast  for  me  advocating  unconditional  emancipation  on  the  soil  was  near 
five  thousand.  The  Colonization  Party  did  not  sustain  me.  When  they  shall  give  up 
that  "Compromise"  with  slave-holders  —  if  ever  —  our  strength  will  be  greatly  in- 
creased. "Uncle  Tom"  is  much  read  in  Kentucky  and  all  the  South;  here  it  is  mak- 
ing daily  converts  to  our  cause.  We  are  organized,  have  a  feeble  paper  advocating 
our  views,  which  we  hope  this  summer  to  strengthen  with  an  abler  editor.  We  are 
few,  but  determined;  and  may  God  defend  the  right.     Your  obedient  servant, 

C.  M.  Clay. 

After  partaking  of  refreshments,  the  ladies  who  were  present 
congregated  in  one  of  the  splendid  saloons  apart,  and  Mrs.  Stowe, 
seated  between  the  Duchesses  of  Sutherland  and  Argyll,  entered 
into  conversation  with  her  numerous  visitors. 

In  the  course  of  her  observations,  she  stated  that  the  ladies  of 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCETXUS    CLAY.  289 

kind  enough  to  get  me  introduced  to  Lord  Palmerston; 
and  we  visited  him  together  at  his  residence  on  Hyde 
Park,  from  whence  the  aged  but  vigorous  statesman 
walked  daily  to  the  House  of  Commons.  As  England 
had  at  all  times  professed  to  be  the  great  humanitarian 
enemy  of  slavery,  and  could  see  no  good  in  American  insti- 

England  were  not  at  all  aware  of  the  real  state  of  feeling  of  the 
ladies  of  America  on  the  subject  of  slavery;  it  must  not  be  judged 
of  by  the  answer  sent  to  the  address,  nor  by  the  statements  in  the 
American  newspapers.  The  ladies  of  England  seem  not  to  be  at 
all  aware  of  the  deep  feeling  of  sympathy  with  which  ' '  Uncle 
Tom's  Cabin"  was  received  in  America  long  before  it  was  known 
in  England.  The  press  in  America  had  invariably  spoken  highly 
of  "Uncle  Tom's  Cabin."  The  first  word  that  ever  appeared  in 
print  against  "Uncle  Tom's  Cabin"  was  the  article  in  the  Times, 
which  was  reprinted  and  reechoed  in  the  American  papers,  and 
widely  circulated  in  the  form  of  a  tract.  The  bitterness  and  anger 
manifested  against  the  Ladies'  Address  showed  how  much  its  force 
had  engaged  the  advocates  of  slavery.  Ladies  in  England  were 
happily  ignorant  of  slavery;  yet  that  address  had  shown  sympathy, 
and  sympathy  was  very  sweet.  There  was  no  bitter  feeling  be- 
tween the  ladies  of  the  two  countries;  but  the  ladies  of  America 
can  not,  because  of  their  husbands'  personal  and  political  feelings, 
stand  forth  and  say  what  they  feel  on  the  subject.  Some  had  said 
that  "Uncle  Tom's  Cabin"  was  now  forgotten;  but  it  should  be 
mentioned  that  60,000  copies  of  the  "Key  to  Uncle  Tom's  Cabin" 
were  sold  in  three  days.  The  practical  question  was :  What  can  be 
done  to  forward  this  great  work  ?  She  looked  first  to  God ;  but 
man  also  could  do  something.  Sympathy  must  continue  to  be 
expressed.  British  subjects  in  Canada  must  be  educated.  The 
use  of  the  free-grown  cotton  must  be  encouraged ;  and  there  were 
other  ways  in  which  this  great  work  may  be  aided  by  the  people 
of  England,  remembering  that,  after  all,  the  issue  is  in  the  hands 
of  Him  that  ordereth  all  things. 

The  company  began  to  disperse  soon  after  five  o'clock,  every 
one  appearing  to  be  thoroughly  gratified  with  the  interesting  pro- 
ceedings of  the  day.  Mrs.  Stowe  and  her  friends  were  among  the 
last  to  leave,  and  were  accompanied  to  the  entrance  hall  by  the 
Duchess  of  Sutherland,  who  there  took  leave  of  her  guests. 

Vol.  I.  — 19 


29O  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

tutions  on  account  of  our  "Inhumanity  to  Man,"  as  Burns 
has  it,  we  felt  that  now,  when  we  risked  all  for  the  liber- 
ation of  the  slave,  that  we  had  a  right  to,  at  least,  neu- 
trality and  sympathy  from  the  British  Empire.  We. there- 
fore explained  the  whole  movement  to  the  Minister;  to 
which  he  listened  politely,  but  with  reserve.  The  sequel 
is  known  to  all  the  world :  England,  of  all  the  earth, 
proved  the  most  uncompromising  enemy  of  the  Union 
Cause!  The  reasons  are  equally  obvious:  She  never 
allows  a  sentiment  to  overthrow  her  policy  of  universal 
dominion ;  and  especially  is  she  jealous  of  all  rivalry  on 
the  sea.  They  all  understood  that  America,  then,  was 
her  only  contestant  on  that  element,  and  a  dissolution  of 
the  Union  would  ruin  our  possible  supremacy.  *  So,  dur- 
ing all  the  Civil  War,  every-where,  the  English  were  as 
inimical  to  us  as  the  Slave  power  itself. 

Besides  Motley  and  Fremont,  there  were  other  eminent 
Americans  in  London,  including  several  foreign  Ministers; 
and  it  was  generally  agreed  that  an  appeal  to  the  British 
public  should  be  made  at  once,  without  awaiting  the  slow 
and  limited  influence  of  our  Minister,  Mr.  Adams ;  and  I 
was  thought  to  be  the  man  most  fit  to  do  it.  To  this  I 
objected;  but  at  length  performed  that  duty  by  a  letter, 
known  afterward  as  my  ''Times  Letter,"  as  it  was  pub- 
lished in   that  leading  journal.     This  letter  was  submitted 

*  It  remains  to  be  seen  how  far  the  introduction  of  steam-ships 
and  iron-clads  will  effect  the  naval  power  of  the  British  Empire. 
Europe  is  preparing,  as  never  before,  to  contest  English  superiority. 
England  seems  to  appreciate  the  situation ;  for  she  is  still  building, 
by  an  enormous  outlay,  more  ships.  One  thing  is  certain.  Her 
prestige  at  sea  being  lost,  all  is  lost.  She  must  then  lose  her  sub- 
ject colonies,  and  her  independence  even,  or  sink  into  an  unimpor- 
tant power.  The  United  States  only  can,  in  such  case,  save  her, 
as  I  foretold  in  my  "Times  Letter."  Her  rulers  now  seem  to 
appreciate  our  future  power;  and  are  now  more  than  anxious  to 
propitiate  us.  Perhaps  she  may  succeed.  As  the  "Times  Letter" 
has  been  much  commented  on,  I  regret  that  I  have  not  been  able 
to  get  a  copy  for  republication  here. — C,    1885. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  29 1 

to  others  and  approved,  especially  by  Motley,  who,  being 
well  informed  regarding  British  feeling  and  literary  criti- 
cism, went  carefully  over  my  letter,  and  corrected  some 
clauses.  This  letter,  I  have  reason  to  believe,  did  much 
to  hold  the  British  people  from  the  hazardous  alliance 
with  France  and  the  Mexican  Invasion.  But  there  it 
stands,   and  I  stand  by  it.  * 

*This  letter  attracted  the  attention  of  all  Europe.  Archibald 
Alison,  the  distinguished  historian,  in  consequence  of  it  and  the 
Harriet  Beecher  Stowe  demonstration,  opened  a  friendly  corre- 
spondence with  me  upon  Morals,  Religion,  and  Politics.  Some 
of  this  coming  to  the  eyes  of  the  public,  the  New  York  Tribune, 
in  the  Bayard  Taylor  intrigue  to  supersede  me  in  office,  instead 
of  complimenting  me,  denounced  me,  —  I  was  not  sent  to  Russia 
to  discuss  Religion  and  Morals !  When  I  treated  the  same  sub- 
jects in  the  Liberal  movement  at  home,  Greeley  saw  much  to 
commend,  —  it  was  in  unison  with  the  Tribune;  but  when  one  of 
its  editors  wanted  my  place,  it  was  monstrous  assumption !  Yet 
Taylor  proposed,  as  a  reason  why  I  should  give  way  to  him, 
that  he  wanted  to  study  and  write  up  Russian  history!  So  it  is 
well  said,  in  the  old  adage:  "One  man  may  steal  a  horse  with 
impunity,  whilst  another  is  hung  for  looking  through  the  pal- 
ings!"—C,   1885. 

LETTER    OF   JOHN    BRIGHT. 

Rochedale,  January  9,  1862. 
My  Dear  Sir  :  —  I  received  your  kind  letter  with  much  pleas- 
ure. The  events  and  dangers  of  the  last  month  have  pressed  so 
much  upon  me,  that  I  have  postponed  my  answer  to  it  from  day 
to  day.  Last  night  we  received  news  which,  if  true,  indicates 
that  the  immediate  danger  is  over.  Your  Government  has  acted 
with  moderation  and  a  true  courage;  and  I  fear  that  we  have  been 
wanting  in  that  generosity  and  forbearance  to  which  you  were  en- 
titled. Our  ruling  class  does  not  like  you,  or  your  institutions,  or 
your  success ;  and  our  people  have  not  yet  so  far  merged  from 
submission  to  it,  as  to  be  able  to  form  a  judgment  of  their  own, 
separate  from  the  lies  and  delusions  which  have  been  offered 
them.  I  hope  now  that  this  danger  is  surmounted,  that  all  who 
care  for  peace  will  labor  for  it ;   for  in  peace,   so  far  as  Europe  is 


292  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

This  letter  was  complained  of  by  Adams ;  for  what 
reason  I  can  not  imagine,  unless  it  seemed  that  I  invaded 
his  dominion.  But,  as  the  press  is  now  far  above  all  the 
red  tape  of  diplomacy,  I  do  not  see  what  ground  he  had 
to  object,  as  the  whole  letter  was  friendly  and  highly  com- 
plimentary to  the  British  Nation. 

Going  to  Paris,  the  Americans  there  thought  some 
demonstration  was  advisable ;  and  a  breakfast  was  gotten 
up  in  a  formal  manner,  at  which  many  speeches  were 
made,  in  a  delicate  way  complimentary  to  the  antecedents 
of  the  French  Nation  and  people,  in  connection  with  the 
great  Republic  of  the  West.  I  knew  very  well  that  in 
the  internal  affairs  of  the  French  there  was  vast  oppo- 
sition to  the  ruling  power ;  but  my  purpose  was  to  en- 
list the  sympathies  of  the  people,  knowing  that,  as  in 
England,  the  monarchical  element  would,  inevitably  be 
against  us.     Now  all  confess  that  it  was  the  people  in  both 

concerned,  rests  your  chance  of  restoring  your  Union,  and  your 
power,  now  or  hereafter,  to  deal  with  the  slave  question. 

There  is  a  danger  in  the  blockade.  The  cotton  question  has 
not  yet  assumed,  but  it  may  assume,  a  formidable  shape;  and  the 
French  and  English  governments  may  think  it  good  policy  to  force 
the  United  States  to  raise  the  blockade.  Nothing  would  be  a 
greater  blunder  or  crime,  in  my  opinion;  but  blunders  and  crimes 
form  the  staple  of  the  history  of  governments.  I  am  in  hopes 
that  the  evident  and  growing  strength  of  the  North  may  convince 
Europe  of  their  ultimate  and  not  distant  success;  and  then  I  think 
the  temptation  to  any  interference  will  be  lessened. 

If  New  Orleans  and  Mobile  and  Savannah  could  be  occupied 
by  the  Government,  then  the  blockade  might  be  raised  as  far  as 
those  ports  are  concerned,  and  trade  in  cotton  might  be  opened, 
if  there  are  men  in  the  interior  willing  to  be  saved  from  the  ruin 
with  which  the  insurrection  menaces  every  owner  of  property  in  the 
South. 

You  have  been  justly  angry  at  the  apparent  want  of  sympathy 
among  the  English  people.  Our  ruling  class  have,  as  you  know, 
great  influence  on  the  opinion  of  all  below  them  in  the  social  scale, 
and  they  and  their  press  have  poisoned  the  public  mind ;  but  a  re- 
action is  now  observable,  and  I  think  opinion  is  far  more  favorable 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  293 

nations  which  held  England  and  France  in  check,  finally 
overthrew  the  combined  invasion  of  Mexico,  and  ulti- 
mately lost  Napoleon  his  throne.  These  things  were  not 
unknown  in  St.  Petersburg ;  for,  of  all  the  governments 
of  the  world,  the  Russians  are  the  best  informed  of  cur- 
rent events  in  other  Empires. 

My  reception  by  the  Czar  was  remarkable  for  its  length 
and  cordiality.  I  gave  it  in  full  to  the  State  Department, 
that  Seward  might  form  his  own  opinions  as  to  the  feel- 
ing of  the  Czar  toward  us.  But  he  published  it  without 
my  authority,  thinking,  no  doubt,  to  injure  me  by  the  ap- 
parent want  of  dignity  in  my  narration  of  the  incidents. 
The  London  Times  commented  on  it  to  my  disadvantage; 
but  I  am  proud  to  leave  it  before  the  public,  where  Seward 
put  it,  that  it  should  disprove  the  effort  afterward  made  to 
claim  the  action  of  the  Czar  in  our  favor  as  the  fruit  of 
the  short  intervening  ministry  of  Cameron  and  Taylor.  * 

to  the  United  States  Government  than  it  was  some  time  ago,  and 
that  much  opinion  hitherto  silent  has  been  brought  into  action. 
The  Times  newspaper  in  London,  and  the  Herald  in  New  York, 
are  responsible  for  a  large  portion  of  the  mischief. 

The  Times  writes  for  the  ruling  class  and  the  military  service; 
and  I  suppose  the  Herald  writes  to  please  somebody  or  some  class 
in  your  country.  Every  thing  said  by  those  journals  should  be 
doubted,  and  most  of  it  should  be  disbelieved. 

We  will  hope  for  better  days.  I  think  we  approach  a  time  of 
sounder  views  in  England;  and  when  once  your  Union  is  restored, 
and  the  evil  of  slavery  is  driven  out,  or  bound  in  chains  and  is 
powerless,  the  world  will  have  much  to  be  thankful  for,  even  in 
the  terrible  calamity  which  is  now  shaking  your  continent. 

With  many  thanks  for  your  most  friendly  letter,  believe  me  to 
be  yours,    very  sincerely, 

John  Bright. 
C.  M.  Clay,  Esq., 

United  States'  Legation,  St.  Petersburg. 

*  During  my  first  mission,  the  Confederates  had  emissaries  in 
most  of  the  courts  of  Europe;  and  it  was  reported  that  L.  O.  C. 
Lamar,    of   Mississippi,    was   accredited    to    St.    Petersburg,    as  the 


294  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

The  rivalry  of  Russia  and  England  may  be  said  to  be 
hereditary,  if  not  natural.  Besides  the  many  life  struggles 
of  the  two  powers,  their  position  as  to  India,  China,  and 
all  Eastern  Asia,  and  Japan,  are  essentially  antagonistic; 
and  no  third  power  is  likely  to  intervene  in  the  final  set- 
tlement, unless  it  might  be  the  United  States,  from  her 
western  shores,  and  through  the  Pacific  Ocean. 

The  Czar  had  already  entered  upon  the  traditional 
policy  of  his  dynasty,  in  the  overthrow  of  serfdom  or  white 
slavery,  and  was  well-informed  as  to  the  movements  in 
America;  and  I  was  just  as  well-known  in  St.  Petersburg 
as  I  was  in  London.  But  whatever  may  have  been  my 
personal  influence,  the  policy  of  Russia  was  well-defined 
by  inevitable  events ;  and  the  attempt  to  detract  from  my 
public  service  is  not  only  unjust,  but  futile. 

The  profession  of  diplomacy  in  the  old  nations  is  con- 
fined to  the  regular  officials,  gradually  rising  from  the 
lowest  grades  to  the  highest,  where  seniority,  as  in 
armies,  is  generally  allowed  prominence.  The  conse- 
quence is,  that  all  the  forms  of  etiquette,  both  official  and 
social,  are  well  understood,  and  rigidly  enforced.  An 
offense  against  the  forms  which  "hedge  a  king"  are 
more  severely  punished  than  even  crimes,  for  state  rea- 
sons. Whilst  this  gives  many  advantages  to  the  diplo- 
mates  of  other  nations,  it  moulds  them  socially  into  one 
form,  as  equal  and  indistinguishable  as  the  pebbles  on  the 
sea-shore.  An  American  has,  then,  one  advantage,  if  he 
has  tact ;   that   is   his  novelty  and  individuality.     When  all 

Confederate  Minister.  One  day  I  asked  Gortchacow  if  he  had  put 
in  his  appearance  yet?  He  replied,  with  his  usual  emphasis: 
"No;  he  dare  not  come  here."  After  reconstruction,  Mr.  Lamar 
was  the  first  Senator  from  Mississippi;  and  at  present  he  is  Secre- 
tary of  the  Interior  of  the  United  States!  "The  king  has  come 
to  his  own  again."  On  the  Sherman  resolution  in  the  Senate,  he 
stood  over  the  prostrate  Republic,  and  declared  he  would  "allow 
no  man  to  call  Jeff.  Davis  a  traitor."  Such  is  the  instability  of 
human  affairs!     Who  can  solve  the  mysteries  of  fate?  —  C,    1885. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  295 

are  surrounded  with  the  ever-recurring-  ceremonies  of 
court-life,  this  freshness,  as  I  may  call  it, —  "greenness," 
as  others  might  say, —  is  at  times  agreeable. 

The  true  politeness  of  universal  society  is  the  same  — 
to  be  agreeable  and  deferential  to  others ;  and  should 
never  give  way  to  either  impertinence  or  self-abasement. 
The  centralization  of  all  the  wealth,  of  all  the  learning, 
of  all  military  achievements,  of  all  the  aristocracy  of  a 
great  nation  in  one  circle,  under  the  most  finished  school 
of  refinement,  gives  the  Russian  high-life  the  precedence 
over  all  others  in  the  world.  The  aristocracy  of  Russia, 
men  and  women,  are  models  of  form  and  refinement ;  and, 
as  an  aggregate,  excel  all  others.  To  one  who  has  the 
entree  into  these  circles,  nothing  in  the  social  way  can 
give  more  agreeable  pastime,  or  "  savoir-vivre."  I  was 
in  the  prime  of  life,  not  a  bad-looking  fellow,  who  had 
seen  much  of  the  world,  and  who  was  determined  to 
please.  I  broke  through  all  etiquette  so  far  as  to  be 
affable  to  all  classes  alike ;  and  when  I  made  a  gaucherie, 
I  was  the  first  to  laugh  at  it. 

I  remember  once  talking  familiarly  with  the  Empress, 
when  I  first  got  to  St.  Petersburg.  She  was  a  woman  of 
good  sense,  and  great  sweetness  of  disposition  and  feat- 
ures, though  of  delicate  health.  I  was  interested  in  her 
conversation,  and  she  was  by  no  means  displeased  with 
mine.  Now  the  greatest  breach  of  etiquette  in  Russia  is 
to  address  the  imperial  family  without  being  first  spoken 
to.  How  could  I  know?  Foreign  legations  were  glad 
to  see  me  in  a  false  position.  The  Russians  were  horri- 
fied. I  was  told  afterward  that  a  consultation  was  held 
by  the  immediate  suite  of  the  Emperor  to  break  up  the 
tete-a-tete,  by  informing  me  of  my  error.  They  named  it 
to  the  Emperor;  but  he  smiled,  and  said:  "He  will  know 
better  after  a  while." 

The  Empress,  even  after  I  had  "learned  better," 
seemed  to  find  pleasure  in  some  new  ideas  and  freedom 
of    thought,     and    frequently    renewed    our    conversations. 


296  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

So  two  of  the  most  distinguished  ladies  of  Russian  society 
introduced  themselves,  at  a  ball,  (each  the  other)  to  me. 
The  one  was  the  belle  of  the  times  of  Nicholas,  Madame 
the  Princess  Radziwill,  *  the  sister-in-law  of  Prince  Gort- 
chacow.  The  other  was  the  Princess  Kotzoubey,  once 
Belliselski,  the  mother  of  the  Prince  Belliselski,  who  mar- 
ried the  sister  of  Scobeloff,  the  noted  general  of  the  Turk- 
ish  war.  The  Princess  Kotzoubey  was  at  the  very  head 
of  Russian  society,  and  the  wealthiest  of  the  nobility, 
entertaining  (but  few  did  so,)  the  imperial  family  at  her 
city  palace,  on  the  Nevski  Street,  on  great  occasions.  So 
I  found  Russian  society  very  agreeable.  My  family,  as 
soon  as  the  novelty  oi  the  new  situation  had  passed 
away,  not  finding  the  climate  very  healthy,  returned  home, 
leaving  me  alone. 

As  Seward  had  not  given  me  leave  of  absence,  as  he 
did  other  ministers,  and  as  do  all  other  governments,  I 
had  seen  but  little  of  Europe ;  so  I  set  out  by  railroad 
for  the  kingdom  of  Saxony,  as  I  was  anxious  to  see  the 
land  of  our  reputed  ancestors,  as  well  as  to  gratify  my 
artistic  taste  by  seeing  the  celebrated  paintings,  which, 
at  Dresden,  on  the  Elbe,  are  many  of  the  finest  in  Eu- 
rope, although  St.  Petersburg  greatly  outnumbers  the 
Dresden  gallery.  I  spent  many  days  in  Dresden,  visiting 
the  art  halls,  the  palace,  and  its  fine  jewels  of  the  crown. 
But,  above  all,  I  was  delighted  with  this  the  most  pictur- 
esque city  I  had  ever  seen,  resting  upon  the  alluvial  plains 
of  this  beautiful  river,  and  spreading  over  the  terraced  hills 
or  mountains,   for  which  Saxony  is   noted.       But  the   most 

*  As  the  Princess  was  the  sister-in-law  of  Prince  Gortchacow, 
I  regard  the  following  letter,  among  others  from  personages  of 
high  political  position,  as  significant  of  the  " entente  cordiale"  be- 
tween the  two  powers,  —  she  being  quite  a  politician.  — C,   1885: 

La   Princesse    Radziwill   est   bien   en   regret   d'avoir  ete  prive  du  plaisir  de  voir 
Monsieur  Clay.       Elle   prie   Monsieur  le   Ministre  d'agreer   tous  ces  voeux   pour  son 
heureux  voyage;  et  elle  espere  avoir  de  ces  nouvelles  bientot. 
12-24  yum,  £*•   PeUrsbourg,   1862. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  297 

agreeable  part  of  the  "voyage"  was  the  companionship 
of  several  Russians  —  old  friends,  who  were  here  spend- 
ing the  summer ;  and  especially  was  I  fortunate  in  the 
company  of  my  traveling  companions,  Madame  A.  E.,  and 
her  gallant  husband  —  a  general  in  the  Russian  army. 
Madame  E.  was  one  of  the  handsomest  women  I  met  in 
Russia,  which  is  saying  much ;  and  we  made  many  excur- 
sions with  her  friends  into  the  country.  The  trees  were 
in  full  leaf,  interspersed  with  cultivated  flowers  and  taste- 
ful cottages.  The  black-heart  cherries  were  found  in  many 
successive  orchards  fully  ripe,  and  the  finest  I  ever  saw. 
The  Saxon  lads  and  lassies,  with  their  ruddy  faces,  full 
persons,  and  golden-plaited  hair,  were  seen  every-where 
gathering  the  cherries,  which  were  sold  cheaply  in  open 
booths  with  rustic  benches,  where  all  travelers  were  wel- 
comed with  a  smile  and  a  kind  word,  as  the  luscious  fruit 
was  measured  and  served. 

So  passed  the  hours  of  many  days  that  I  lingered  in 
Saxon-land;  and,  when  the  time  for  our  parting  came,  to 
set  out  for  Baden-Baden  —  the  celebrated  springs,  where 
the  Russian  nobility  spend  much  of  their  time  —  I  felt 
annoyed,  like  when  one  is  aroused  from  a  delicious  dream 
by  the  noisy  footsteps  of  unwelcome  comers.  But  my 
friend,  Madame  A.  E.,  who  had  very  black  hair  and 
brown  eyes,  took  me  by  the  hand  and  said,  in  her  mixed 
French-Russian  (she  spoke  no  English):  "Come,  Colonel 
Clay;  for  your  wife's  sake,  I  will  not  allow  you  longer 
time  among  these  golden-haired  syrens,  who  I  see  are 
more  dangerous  than  armies  set  in  serried  files." 

So  I  called  to  mind  the  old  distich: 

"Where  women  fly,  men  will  pursue; 
Whether  their  eyes  be  black  or  blue !  " 

And  submitted  with  commendable  grace  to  the  inevitable. 

At   Baden   I   found   more   Russians  than   at  Dresden  — 

the  gambling-tables  forming,  no  doubt,  some  attraction,  as 

well  as  the  noted  surroundings.     Here  we  made  the  round 


298  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

of  all  the  historical  places, —  the  shady  groves  and  im- 
promptu picnics,  as  at  Dresden,  being  to  me  the  chief 
attraction.  But,  on  the  Elysian  fields,  as  on  the  battle- 
field, fate  presses  us  on  —  on  —  on,  forever!  I  took,  in 
sadness,  leave  of  my  friends,  who  hoped  to  see  me  back 
in  Russia,  and  hurried  on  through  Paris  and  London  for 
America ;  as  my  patriotism  would  not  allow  me  to  linger 
again  on  English  soil. 

Passing  over  the  sea  once  more,  and  which  seemed 
now  more  in  consonance  with  my  troubled  thoughts,  I  kept 
aloof  from  every  one,  absorbed  in  sober  reflections  upon 
my  country's  ingratitude.  I  landed  in  New  York,  having 
touched  at  Halifax,  where  we  found  the  British  as  bitter 
as  the  worst  rebels,  and,  hurrying  on  to  Washington,  I 
reported  to  President  Lincoln. 


CHAPTER   XVI. 


Recalled  and  Commissioned  Major-General  of  Volunteers. — Simon  Cameron 
and  Bayard  Taylor  succeed  me. — Return  to  Washington  City. — Over- 
throw of  the  Slave-Power  foreshadowed. — President  Lincoln's  Letters. 
Salmon  P.  Chase.  —  My  Washington  Speech.  —  Interview  with  General 
Halleck. — The  President  sends  me  to  Kentucky. — The  Battle  of  Rich- 
mond, Ky. — Prof.  Blinn's  Eulogy. — Halleck's  Special  Order  set  aside 
by  the  President. — I  resign  my  Major-general's  Commission. 


SEWARD  was  too  glad  to  avail  himself  of  my  promise 
to  Lincoln,  about  the  generalship,  to  recall  me,  and 
send  Simon  Cameron,  who  had  got  into  bad  odor  as  Sec- 
retary of  War  by  his  business-affairs  with  the  railroads 
and  the  Government.  He  was  sent  to  supersede  me, 
with  Bayard  Taylor  as  Secretary  of  Legation.  It  was 
understood  that  Cameron  was  to  slide  down  to  his  old 
level,  using  the  mission  to  St.  Petersburg  as  a  parachute  ; 
and  that  Taylor,  who  had  great  influence  as  one  of  the 
owners  and  editors  of  the  New  York  Tribune,  was  to 
take  his  place  as  minister  in  full.  I  had  made  a  very  full 
investment  of  my  small  salary  in  beautiful  plate,  and  other 
articles  of  vertu  from  Paris,  made  under  my  immediate 
direction ;  and,  by  giving  a  few  elegant  entertainments, 
which  were  not  excelled  by  any  one,  I  gave  the  Russians 
an  idea  of  my  taste  and  training.  After  that  they  care 
no  more ;  for  they  had  all  that  money  could  buy,  or 
genius  invent,  for  all  the  pleasures  of  life.  If  they  liked 
flowers,  I  accommodated  them ;  if  paintings,  I  had  some 
of  the  rarest;  if  wines,-  I  had  every  sample  of  the  world's 
choice ;  if  the  menu  was  the  object,  nothing  was  there 
wanting.  The  flowers  could  be  hired ;  the  paintings  were 
a  permanent  investment ;  the  wines  cost  no  more  of  every 
variety  than   one   choice   one ;   and   the  eating  was   not   in- 

299 


300  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

creased,  by  its  variety,  in  price.  So  I  was  in  no  haste  to 
go  back  to  America ;  and  I  determined  to  return  to  St. 
Petersburg  again. 

I  left  my  furniture  and  carriages  unsold,  in  the  care  of 
my  chasseur,  John,  a  freedman,  and  returned  to  Wash- 
ington. Seward,  in  his  recall,  had  simply  thanked  me,  in 
the  name  of  the  President,  for  my  services,  and  inclosed 
me  a  Major-General's  commission,  informing  me  at  the 
same  time  of  Cameron's  succession. 

Cameron  was  not  at  all  fitted  for  this  post,  in  which 
personal  bearing  is  every  thing.  He  did  not  belong  to 
"them  literary  fellows;"  and  was  a  coarse  man  in  senti- 
ment, and  rude  in  manners.  I  was  present  at  his  pres- 
entation to  the  Emperor;  in  fact,  I  presented  him.  And 
when  the  Emperor  made,  or,  rather,  was  making,  his 
speech  of  reception,  Cameron  interrupted,  and  discon- 
certed him.  Such  rudeness  one  would  have  thought 
would  be  hardly  tolerated  in  a  backwoods-Dutchman's 
house  in  Pennsylvania.  He  received  the  Russian  noble- 
men, at  times,  in  the  legation-rooms ;  and,  on  the  whole, 
his  like  was  rarely  "seen  before,  or  behind  either,"  as 
Don  Piatt  would  say. 

Bayard  Taylor  was  a  traveler,  and  a  man  of  some 
learning,  but  was  little  more  polished  than  Cameron,  and 
in  all  the  years  that  I  spent  in  St.  Petersburg  I  never 
heard  any  one  whatever  speak  of  Cameron  or  Taylor ; 
whilst  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Pickens,  of  South  Carolina,  much 
was  said  in  complimentary  reminiscence.  Mr.  Appleton, 
my  immediate  predecessor,  was  a  retired,  quiet  gentleman ; 
and  I  believe  had  not  gone  much  into  society. 

Returning  through  London,  I  was  invited  by  Mr.  Adams 
to  a  family-dinner,  which  I  accepted.  I  was  the  only 
guest.  But  little  was  said  in  any  way ;  and  that  was  the 
last  I  saw  of  him.  In  the  interval,  from  the  time  of  my 
leaving  him  at  London  to  my  return,  hearing  rumors  of 
dissatisfaction,  I  wrote  to  him  from  St.  Petersburg,  asking 
him  about  my  ''Times  Letter;"  and  he  wrote  me  a  long 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


30I 


vindication  of  his  right  to  be  discontented  with  my  course. 
So  he  and  Cameron  again  stood  between  me  and  the 
light. 

Arriving  in  Washington,  the  Union  armies  seemed  to 
be  every-where  worsted.  Lincoln,  under  Seward's  influ- 
ence, had  restrained  the  generals  from  taking  a  very  neces- 
sary war-measure,  declaring  slaves,  as  other  property,  sub- 
ject to  capture  and  confiscation.  And  Stanton,  from  hav- 
ing been  an  old-line  Democrat,  though  he  joined  the 
Republicans  when  the  Democratic  Party  seemed  inevitably 
ruined,  yet  cordially  hated  all  earnest  anti-slavery  men. 
It  was  his  special  pleasure  to  kill  off  Frank  P.  Blair,  J.  C. 
Fremont,  and  such  generals,  by  refusing  them  proper  sup- 
port, as  Secretary  of  War. 

Believing  that  the  war  was  and  ought  to  be  a  failure, 
with  the  old  cancer  of  slavery  left  in  the  Union,  I  was 
every-where  outspoken  in  favor  of  declaring  the  slaves  of 
all  the  States  in  rebellion  free,  as  suggested  long  since 
by  John  Ouincy  Adams;  and  I  so  expressed  myself  to 
Lincoln.  Henry  Wilson  seems  to  think  that  the  emanci- 
pation proclamations  are  the  great  events,  not  only  of  the 
war,  but  of  the  age.  They  are.  But  he  also  seems  to 
be  quite  in  the  mist  as  to  the  causes  and  movements  in 
that  regard.  To  show  my  connection  with  these  great 
events,  and  to  throw  light  on  their  causes  and  effects,  is 
one  of  the  most  potent  motives  for  my  writing  these  Mem- 
oirs. For,  after  I  succeeded  in  carrying  Lincoln  with  me, 
delicacy  forbade  my  avowals ;  and  afterward  the  Repub- 
lican press  was  closed  to  me,  and  it  was  no  way  to  gain 
favor  with  the  Democrats  to  show  them  how  I  had  ruined 
them. 

So  I  determined  to  force  this  policy,  or  return  to  Rus- 
sia, if  possible.  I  went  to  Lincoln  and  told  him  my  dis- 
trust of  Stanton  and  Halleck.  That  it  was,  I  thought,  a 
foolish  thing-  to  fight  at  all,  if  the  same  old  cancer  of 
slavery  was  to  remain  after  a  peace.  That  the  Democrats 
never  wanted  war,  and  were  ready  at  any  time  to  make  a 


302  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

disgraceful  peace.  That  our  party  was  divided  by  the  un- 
certain aims  of  the  Unionists.  That  the  autocracy  of 
Europe  were  ready  to  destroy  the  great  Republic,  which 
was  ever  a  menace  to  the  crowned-heads.  That  whilst 
we  fought  simply  for  empire,  the  people  of  the  advanced 
powers  of  England  and  France  were  indifferent  to  our 
success ;  but  that,  in  the  cause  of  liberty,  we  would  have 
a  safe  check  upon  their  rulers,  who  would  not  dare  to  in- 
terfere in  behalf  of  slavery.  That,  at  all  events,  if  fall 
we  must,  let  us  fall  with  the  flag  of  universal  liberty  and 
justice  nailed  to  the  mast-head.  Then,  at  least,  we  should 
have  the  help  of  God,  and  the  sympathies  of  mankind,  for 
a  future  struggle,  and  live  in  the  memory  of  the  good  in 
all  time.  I  told  him  that  I  desired  to  return  to  St.  Peters- 
burg. That  the  most  of  my  remnant  of  a  once  large  for- 
tune was  expended  in  my  outfit  at  the  Russian  court ;  and 
that  I  wished  to  be  sent  back.  That  I  had  canvassed  in 
his  behalf,  by  his  request ;  and  that  he  had  promised  me 
the  place  of  Secretary  of  War  in  his  own  voluntary  letter, 
a  promise  which  he  had  failed  to  perform.  * 

Lincoln  listened  with  great  attention,  and  said:  "Who 
ever  heard  of  a  reformer  reaping  the  rewards  of  his  work 
in  his  life-time?  I  was  advised  that  your  appointment 
as   Secretary  of  War  would  have   been   considered   a   dec- 

*  ABRAHAM    LINCOLN'S    LETTERS. 

Springfield,   Illinois,  July  20,    i860. 
Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay  — 

My  Dear  Sir  :  —  I  see  by  the  papers,  and  also  learn  from  Mr. 
Nicolay,  who  saw  you  at  Terre  Haute,  that  you  are  filling  a  list 
of  speaking-appointments  in  Indiana.  I  sincerely  thank  you  for 
this,  and  I  shall  be  still  further  obliged  if  you  will,  at  the  close 
of  the  tour,  drop  me  a  line,  giving  your  impression  of  our  pros- 
pects in  that  State. 

Still  more  will  you  oblige  me,  if  you  will  allow  me  to  make 
a  list  of  appointments  in  our  State,  commencing,  say,  at  Marshall, 
in  Clark  County,  and  thence  south  and  west  along  over  Wabash 
and  Ohio  River  border. 

In  passing,   let    me    say,   that    at    Rockport   you  will    be  in  the 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY. 


303 


laration  of  war  upon  the  South.  I  have  no  objections 
to  your  return  to  St.  Petersburg.  I  thought  that  you 
had  desired  to  return  home ;  at  least,  Seward  so  stated 
it  to  me." 

I  here  saw  the  sentiments  of  Seward  and  Weed,  and 
the  work  of  the  Whigs  of  Kentucky,  whom  I  had  defeated 
in  honorable  warfare.  I  replied:  "It  is  true  that  I  had 
said,  in  1861,  when  pressed  to  take  command  as  Major- 
General,  that  I  would  return  if  it  was  deemed  best,  on 
account  of  so  much  treason  in  the  regular  army.  But 
now,  after  more  than  a  year's  struggle,  no  such  motives 
remain ;  and  what  I  might  have  undertaken  then  would 
be  out  of  place  now,  when  all  but  myself  have  had  the 
experience  of  more  than  a  year's  service.  It  is  untrue 
that  I  have  given  Seward  the  least  intimation  that  I  desired 
to  return  home."     And  with  this  our  interview  ended. 

county  within  which  I  was  brought  up,  from  my  eighth  year; 
having  left  Kentucky  at  that  point  of  my  life.      Yours,   very  truly, 

A.   Lincoln. 

Springfield,  Illinois,  August  10,   i860. 
Hon.  C.  M.  Clay— 

My  Dear  Sir  :  —  Your  very  kind  letter  of  the  6th  was  received 
yesterday.  It  so  happened  that  our  State  Central  Committee  was 
in  session  here  at  the  time;  and,  thinking  it  proper  to  do  so,  I 
submitted  the  letter  to  them.  They  were  delighted  with  the  assur- 
ance of  having  your  assistance.  For  what  appears  good  reasons, 
they,  however,  propose  a  change  in  the  programme,  starting  you 
at  the  same  place  (Marshall,  in  Clark  County),  and  thence  north- 
ward. This  change,  I  suppose,  will  be  agreeable  to  you ;  as  it 
will  give  you  larger  audiences,  and  much  easier  travel  —  nearly  all 
being  by  railroad.  They  will  be  governed  by  your  time;  and  when 
they  shall  have  fully  designated  the  places,  you  will .  be  duly  noti- 
fied. As  to  the  inaugural,  I  have  not  yet  commenced  getting  it 
up ;  while  it  affords  me  great  pleasure  to  be  able  to  say  the  cliques 
have  not  yet  commenced  upon  me.      Yours,   very  truly, 

A.   Lincoln. 

Note. — See  A.   Lincoln's  letter  offering  Secretaryship  of  War,  in  possession  of 
the  Kentucky  Historical  Society,   Frankfort,   Ky.  —  C,    1885. 


304  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

Soon  afterward  I  received  the  following-  letter 


c> 


Executive  Mansion,  Washington,  August  12,  1862. 
Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay  — 

My  Dear  Sir  :  —  I  learn  that  you  would  not  dislike  returning 
to  Russia,  as  Minister  Plenipotentiary.  You  were  not  recalled  for 
any  fault  of  yours ;  but,  as  understood,  it  was  done  at  your  request. 
Of  course,  there  is  no  personal  objection  to  your  re-appointment. 
Still,  General  Cameron  can  not  be  recalled  except  by  his  request. 
Some  conversation  passing  between  him  and  myself,  renders  it  due 
that  he  should  not  resign  without  full  notice  of  my  intention  to 
re-appoint  you.  If  he  resigns  with  such  full  knowledge  and  under- 
standing, I  shall  be  quite  willing,  and  even  gratified,  to  send  you 
to  Russia.     Your  obedient  servant,  A.   Lincoln. 

Of  all  the  men  of  my  time,  I  was  most  intimate  with 
Salmon  P.  Chase,  then  Secretary  of  the  Treasury.  As  I 
said  before,  I  preferred  him  to  all  persons  for  President  in 
i860;  but  Benj.  F.  Wade  killed  him  off.  I  had  been  in- 
timate with  him  from  very  early  manhood,  in  1835;  and  I 
was  now  his  guest  at  Washington,  in  1862.  When  I  set 
out  from  Russia,  as  before  said,  I  intended  to  return  there; 
but,  when  I  got  to  Washington,  and  saw  how  the  war  was 
going  on,  I  began  to  think  that,  if  I  could  carry  on  the 
war  by  declaring  the  slaves  free,  we  could  win ;  if  not,  we 
should  fail.  With  these  sentiments  avowed,  Chase  was 
extremely  anxious  that  I  should  at  once  take  a  command ; 
but  I  told  him  Stanton  and  Halleck  had  killed  off  all  the 
anti-slavery  generals,  and  would  sacrifice  me  also.  That 
I  had  so  told  Lincoln ;  and  had  asked  to  return  to  St. 
Petersburg.  He  said  he  thought  I  was  mistaken ;  and  he 
would  go  with  me  and  see  Halleck  himself,  and  urge  my 
having  an  independent  command.  To  this  I  assented. 
We  went  to  Halleck's  office,  and,  in  private,  had  a  long 
conversation  with  him,  Chase  doing  most  of  the  talking. 
Mr.  Chase  said  that,  as  I  had  a  Major-General's  commis- 
sion in  my  pocket,  I  should  receive  the  western  command, 
where  Fremont  had  been  first  placed.  Halleck  was  very 
reserved,  and  at  length  showed  so  much  ill-nature  that  we 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  305 

left  him.  Chase  then  said:  "Clay,  I  can  no  longer  urge 
you  to  stay ;  I  do  not  think  you  could  have  fair  play,  and, 
of  course,  could  not  help  us." 

In  the  meantime,  after  leaving  Lincoln,  I  made  a 
speech  in  Washington  which  excited  the  widest  comment. 
As  I  have  not  preserved  any  report  of  it,  it  having  been 
made,  as  usual,  extemporaneously,  I  give  the  following 
verbatim  account  of  its  spirit  from  the  Louisville  Journal, 
August   19,    1862: 

CASSIUS   M.    CLAY. 

We  take  the  following  passage  from  a  letter  of  the  regular 
Washington  correspondent  of  the  New  York  Evening  Post: 

Washington,  August  13,  1862. — The  speech  of  Mr.  C.  M. 
Clay  at  Odd  Fellows'  Hall  last  night  gave  sufficient  evidence  that 
the  statement  of  the  Evening  Post  a  day  or  two  since  in  reference 
to  him  (and  which  has  been  doubted  in  some  quarters  here,)  was 
absolutely  correct.  Mr.  Clay  said  repeatedly  and  distinctly  in  his 
speech,  that  he  would  never  draw  his  sword  so  long  as  slavery 
was  protected  by  the  Government.  The  tone  of  his  remarks  on 
this  head  was  not  very  encouraging.  That  I  may  not  be  accused 
of  misrepresentation,  let  me  quote  a  paragraph  from  the  Repub- 
lican s  report  of  the  speech: 

"Mr.  Clay  then  spoke  of  our  efforts  at  home.  He  was  not 
fully  satisfied  with  the  drift  of  affairs.  He  believed  the  President 
to  be  an  honest  man,  and  the  officers  in  the  main  desired  to  do 
right ;  but  we  are  trying  to  conquer  the  rebellion  with  the  sword 
in  one  hand  and  the  shackles  in  the  other.  We  are  fighting  as 
though  we  were  anxious  that  neither  side  should  win.  You  have 
been  eighteen  months  carrying  on  this  war  on  peace  principles, 
and  what  have  you  gained?  I  am  told  by  men  high  in  authority 
that  the  capital  is  yet  in  danger.  You  allow  four  millions  of  good 
Union  men  in  the  South,  who  are  your  natural  allies,  to  cut  your 
own  throats,  because  you  can  not  lay  aside  a  sickly  prejudice. 
He  (Mr.  Clay)  xvonld  never  use  the  sword  while  slavery  is  protected  in 
rebel  States.  [Loud  applause  and  cheers.  A  lady  near  us  indig- 
nantly asserted  that  she  did  not  come  to  hear  Abolition  speeches.] 
Far  better  acknowledge  the  Confederacy,  and  let  Mr.  Davis  and 
his  people  go  by  themselves,  than  attempt  to  defeat  the  designs 
of  God  in  regard  to  the  great  question  of  universal  liberty.  You 
must  give  to  every  man  the  same  liberty  you  desire  for  yourself. 
Vol.  I. — 20 


306  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

[Applause.]  When  I  draw  a  sword,  it  shall  be  for  the  liberation  and 
not  the  enslavement  of  mankind.  [Wild  enthusiasm  and  applause.] 
He  would  not  have  the  Constitution  disobeyed  or  altered  in  a  line 
or  a  letter.  He  stood  now  where  he  always  stood,  for  the  Con- 
stitution,  the  Union,   and  the  enforcement  of  the  laws." 

If  this  report  is  correct,  and  it  is  taken  from  the  Washington 
Republican,  in  which  it  appeared  under  Mr.  Clay's  eyes  without 
contradiction  from  him,  Mr.  Clay  is  a  conditional  Unionist  of  the 
most  odious  description ;  or,  rather,  he  is  a  rebel,  about  as  good 
or  bad  as  can  be  found  any  where  in  this  country.  If  this  is, 
indeed,  Mr.  Clay's  position,  there  can  be  no  truth  in  the  rumor 
that  he  is  to  receive  an  important  military  command  west  of  the 
Mississippi.  There  can  be  no  truth,  even,  in  the  rumor  that  he 
is  to  go  back  to  St.  Petersburg  as  the  representative  of  this 
country  at  the  Court  of  Russia.  The  only  place  to  which  a  citi- 
zen, entertaining  such  views  and  promulgating  them,  can  be  sent, 
consistent  with  a  recent  order  of  the  War  Department,  is  Fort 
Warren,   or  some  other  military  prison  of  the  nation. 

We  did  hope  that  Mr.  Clay  would  return  from  abroad  with 
higher  and  more  temperate  views  of  our  national  troubles  than 
he  carried  away  with  him,  or  that  at  least  he  would  return  no 
more  extreme  than  he  went.  We  certainly  never  dreamed  that 
he  would  not  come  back  an  unconditional  Union  man.  Yet,  we 
fear  our  expectations  touching  him  have  come  to  naught.  He 
seems  to  have  kept  pace  on  the  banks  of  the  Neva  with  the  most 
swift-footed  and  hot-headed  Abolitionists  in  the  Lyceums  of  New 
England,  or  the  halls  of  the  Capitol.  He  has  outstripped  him- 
self. He  is  ahead  of  Lovejoy.  He  is  neck  by  neck  with  Gar- 
rison and  Phillips. 

We  respectfully  submit  his  position  to  the  attention  of  the 
President.  If  he  is  correctly  represented,  he  has  clearly  deprived 
himself  of  all  powers  of  usefulness  to  his  country  in  this  day  of 
her  trial.      He  is  as  little  able  to  serve  her  as  he  is  willing. 

From  the   Cincinnati  Gazette,    August  19,    1862. 

Speech  of  Cassiits  M.   Clay  —  He  denounces  England,  thinks  France  is 

well-disposed,    Eulogizes  Russia,   and  Lavs  Down  his   Views 

of  Conducting  the   War. 

As  already  announced  in  our  dispatches,  Cassius  M.  Clay  made 
a  speech  at  Washington  on  Tuesday  evening.  As  its  principal 
points  were  telegraphed   by  our  correspondent,  it  is  only  necessary 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  307 

to  quote   a   few   passages,   to    which  justice    could    not   be  done  in 
his  abstract : 

' '  I  now  assure  you  that  you  found  your  hopes  of  British  friend- 
ship, amity,  and  non-interference  upon  a  false  basis,  if  you  sup- 
pose there  is  any  anti-slavery  sentiment  in  the  British  dominions 
that  is  going  to  keep  England  from  laying  violent  hands  upon 
this  great  Republic  when  she  dares.  [Cries  of  "That  is  so." 
Fear  is  the  only  thing  that  deters  her  from  interfering  in  behalf 
of  the  South,  for  the  purpose  of  prostrating  and  forever  blotting 
out  from  the  insignia  of  nations  the  Star-Spangled  Banner,  which 
is  the  pride  of  our  nation,  and  the  mighty  representative  of  our 
principles.  [Loud  applause.]  I  give  you  my  word  of  honor  that, 
after  the  closest  observation,  and  most  thorough  intercourse  with 
Englishmen  in  every  part  of  Europe,  I  have  scarcely  met  one  man 
who  did  not  sincerely  desire  the  overthrow  of  the  American  Re- 
public, and  believe  such  would  be  the  ultimate  result  —  Mr.  Fors- 
ter,  in  the  House  of  Parliament,  and  Messrs.  Cobden  and  Bright, 
being  honorable  exceptions ;  but  they  are  merely  sectional  men, 
and  do  but  represent  the  British  people,  who  are  honestly  and 
fearlessly  on  our  side,  because  they  love  the  principles  which  that 
flag  represents ;  but  their  influence  is,  as  I  before  remarked,  only 
limited.  I  think  I  hazard  nothing  in  saying  that  there  is  no  pub- 
lic sentiment  whatever,  and  no  potent  people,  in  England,  who 
are  on  our  side,  against  those  who  would  lay  violent  hands  upon 
the  insignia  of  our  nationality. 

' '  I  believe  that  the  French  people  and  the  French  Emperor  are 
now,  and  have  been  from  the  beginning,  just  as  the  Emperor  of 
the  French  has  again  and  again  avowed  himself  to  be,  a  firm  and 
fixed  friend  of  the  American  Republic.  Let  us  not  take  England 
as  a  source  of  information  as  to  the  disposition  and  design  of  the 
Emperor.  We  all  know,  when  it  was  loudly  and  universally  pro- 
claimed in  France,  that  the  French  Emperor  had  declared  his 
determination  to  interfere,  how  the  Government,  through  its  au- 
thenticated journal,  the  Moniteur,  treated  the  matter.  The  Em- 
peror, too,  in  his  address  to  the  French  Chambers,  told  them 
that,  so  far  from  proposing  to  interfere  by  his  action  with  the 
blockade  which  the  American  Republic  had  established,  he  never 
would  interfere,  unless  just  cause  of  interference  should  occur. 
[Loud » and  prolonged  applause.]  Now,  gentlemen,  there  is  an 
avowal.  Those  words  arc  on  record,  and  the  world  knows  it. 
Neither  you  nor  I,    the  newspaper  press  nor  any  set  of  men,  have 


308  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

the  right  to  question  the  integrity  of  this  avowal  until  some  act 
shall  occur  which  would  give  the  lie  to  it.  [Cheers.]  I  think  — 
I  say  it  from  the  best  information  which  I  can  get  —  followed  up 
by  this  letter,  which  was  written  while  the  difficulty  attending  the 
arrest  of  Mason  and  Slidell  was  pending,  that  the  French  nation 
has  been  and  still  is  the  friend  of  the  American  Republic*  [Ap- 
plause.] Let  us,  then,  give  him  our  faith  and  our  confidence,  that 
he  means  what  he  says ;  that  he  will  do  and  act  as  he  means. 
[Loud  applause.] 

' '  I  think  I  can  say,  without  implication  of  profanity  or  want  of 
deference,  that,  since  the  days  of  Christ  himself,  such  a  happy  and 
glorious  privilege  has  not  been  reserved  to  any  other  man  to  do 
that  amount  of  good ;  and  no  man  has  ever  more  gallantly  or 
nobly  done  it  than  Alexander  II.,  the  Czar  of  Russia.  I  refer 
to  the  emancipation  of  the  23,000,000  of  serfs.f  [Vociferous 
cheering.]  Here,  then,  fellow-citizens,  was  the  place  to  look  for 
an  ally.  [Renewed  applause.]  Here,  fellow-citizens,  you  have 
found  an  ally.  [Cheers.]  Trust  him;  for  your  trust  will  not  be 
misplaced.  [Applause.]  Stand  by  him,  and  he  will  —  as  he  has 
often  declared  to  me  he  will  —  stand  by  you.  [The  speaker  was 
here  interrupted  by  a  long,  continuous  outburst  of  applause,  which 
lasted  some  time.]  Not  only  Alexander,  but  his  whole  family 
are  with  you.  [Renewed  applause.]  Men,  women,  and  children. 
[Continued  applause.]  None  of  them  eat  the  bread  of  idleness. 
Those  that  belong  to  the  royal  house  are  acting  an  important  part 
in  the  administration  of  the  Government.  One  takes  the  head  of 
the  navy,  another  the  army,  another  agriculture,  etc.  — all  men 
with  temperate  habits,  cultivated  intellects,  and  fine  address,  de- 
voting all  their  energies  in  co-operating  with  the  Czar  for  the 
elevation  of  his  people.  A  more  lovely,  intelligent,  virtuous, 
and  noble  family  never  occupied  or  surrounded  a  throne  before. 
Whilst  I  spent  days  and  weeks  in  moving  around,  gazing  at  and 
admiring  the  people,  I  was  surprised ;  for  I  had  read  in  English 
journals  of  the  Russian  people  being  but  little  better  than  beasts 
of  the  field,   but  I  have   found   that  the  Russians  are  a  great  race. 

■'  It  is  true  Napoleon  subsequently  proved  false  to  his  avowals  up  to  this  time; 
but  the  French  people  showed,  by  their  subsequent  action,  that  I  was  right  about 
them.  — C,  1885. 

tThe  initial  steps  toward  emancipation  were  taken  in  1861  ;  but  the  details 
took  several  years  more  to  complete  the  emancipation  of  the  serfs  of  Russia.  —  C, 
1885. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS  CLAY.  T>°9 

"Well,  now,  you  are  going  to  conquer  the  South.  How?  By 
my  friend  Seward  taking  dinners  and  drinks?  [Laughter  and  ap- 
plause.] You  are  going  to  conquer  the  South  by  taking  the 
sword  in  one  hand  and  slave-shackles  in  the  other.  You  are 
going  to  conquer  the  South  with  one  portion  of  your  force,  while 
the  other  is  detailed  to  guard  rebel  property.  You  are  so  mag- 
nanimous that  you  are  going  to  put  down  this  gigantic  effort  at 
our  national  life,  in  the  language  of  Jim  Lane,  "by  fighting  their 
battles  and  your  own."  [Applause.]  How  long  have  you  tried 
it?  For  nearly  eighteen  months.  Some  of  the  best  men  in  this 
country  have  gone  down  to  their  graves.  Two  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  of  the  loyal  troops  of  the  United  States  have  died  on 
the  battle-field,  or  been  disabled  by  sickness.  How  many  millions 
have  you  expended?  Why,  a  sum  rolling  up  to  one  thousand 
millions  —  almost  one-fourth  of  the  national  debt  of  England,  that 
has  been  accumulating  for  ages — and  still  you  have  been  carry- 
ing on  the  war.  Upon  such  principles  as  those  you  can  not 
stand  upright  in  the  eyes  of  the  world.  On  these  principles  you 
never  can  conquer;  and  I  am  told  by  men  high  in  authority  that 
the  capitol  is  still  in  danger.  Gentlemen,  how  much  longer  is 
this  thing  to  continue? 

"Fight  this  war  on  the  principle  of  common-sense.  As  for  my- 
self, never,  so  help  me  God,  will  I  draw  a  sword  to  keep  the 
chains  upon  another  fellow-being.  [Tremendous  applause.]  Sup- 
pose, gentlemen,  that  you  succeed  upon  the  present  policy;  what 
have  you  gained?  Better  recognize  the  Southern  Confederacy  at 
once,  and  stop  this  effusion  of  blood,  than  to  continue  in  this 
present  ruinous  policy,  or  have  even  a  restoration  of  the  Union 
as  it  was.  Change  your  policy,  and  show  that  you  are  in  earnest. 
Send  an  ambassador — me,  if  you  will,  much  as  the  slave-holders 
hate  me,  and  I  them  —  to  Jeff.  Davis  with  a  message  that,  if  he 
will  consent  to  have  the  rebels  lay  down  their  arms,  and  come 
again  under  the  protection  of  the  old  flag  and  the  Constitution, 
that  protection  will  be  granted  to  him;  but,  if  not,  warn  him  of 
the  consequence,  and  then  go  to  work  in  real  earnest,  and,  if 
necessary,  desolate  the  whole  South. 

"As  regards  the  disposition  of  the  negro,  I  am  opposed  to 
colonization,  because  it  will  be  the  means  of  delaying  emancipa- 
tion; in  fact,  only  tending  to  perpetuate  the  institution  of  slav- 
ery, and  the  difficulties  of  its  overthrow,  by  raising  the  value  of 
slaves." 


3IO  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AMD    SPEECHES 

Soon  Lincoln  sent  for  me,  and  said:  "I  have  been 
thinking  of  what  you  said  to  me,  but  I  fear  if  such  proc- 
lamation of  emancipation  was  made  Kentucky  would  go 
against  us;  and  we  have  now  as  much  as  we  can  carry." 

I  replied:  "You  are  mistaken.  The  Kentuckians  have 
heard  this  question  discussed  by  me  for  a  quarter  of  a 
century;  and  have  all  made  up  their  minds.  Those  who 
intend  to  stand  by  slavery  have  already  joined  the  rebel 
army ;  and  those  who  remain  will  stand  by  the  Union  at 
all  events.  Not  a  man  of  intelligence  will  change  his 
ground." 

Lincoln  then  said:  "The  Kentucky  Legislature  is  now 
in  session.  Go  down,  and  see  how  they  stand,  and  report 
to  me. 'J 

So  at  once  I  set  out ;  making  a  diversion  by  speaking  a 
few  times,  in  the  North,  as  a  paid  lecturer,  thus  to  raise 
money  for  my  expenses  which  I  really  needed,  and  to  cover 
the  purpose  of  my  tour. 

When  I  reached  Lexington,  Kirby  Smith  was  marching 
upon  my  county  town,  Richmond;  and  General  Lew.  Wal- 
lace was  in  command  of  the  Union  forces.  I  suggested 
that  the  defense  against  those  veteran  troops  should  be 
made  on  the  bluffs  of  the  Kentucky  River;  that  the  passes 
were  few,  and  easy  of  defense.  This  I  knew  from  long 
observation  in  fishing  in  that  river,  from  the  three  forks  to 
the  mouth.  Wallace  then  asked  me  to  take  charge  of  the 
troops  —  infantry  and  artillery  —  and  make  the  defense  as  I 
thought  best.  To  this  I  consented ;  and  the  result  is  best 
shown  by  the  following  letter: 

Cassius   M.    Clay  —  Interesting  Communication  Relative  to  his  Connec- 
tion with   General  Nelson. 

To  the  Editor  of  the   Courier-Journal — 

White  Hall  P.  O.,  Madison  County,  Ky.,  April  9,  1878. — 
In  your  journal  of  the  6th  instant  is  a  letter  of  General  M.  D. 
Manson,  about  the  battle  of  Richmond,  in  which  my  name  is 
mentioned ;  and,  to  avoid  misconstruction,  I  beg  leave  to  say  a 
few  words  in  regard  to  my  connection  with  General  Nelson's  com- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  3II 

mand.  Whilst  a  Major-General  of  Volunteers  of  the  United 
States,  I  had  been  ordered  by  President  Lincoln  on  a  secret  mis- 
sion to  Kentucky,  the  Legislature  being  then  in  session,  to  sound 
the  public  sentiment  of  this  State  in  regard  to  a  proclamation  of 
the  freedom  of  all  the  slaves  captured  in  war,  or  escaped  from 
the  belligerent  armies  of  the  South,  as  well  as  to  use  my  discre- 
tion on  the  subject  of  slavery  generally.  I  reached  Lexington  on 
the  23d  of  August,  1862  (following  General  Manson's  data),  where 
I  found  General  L.  Wallace  in  command,  as  I  supposed,  of  the 
corps  d'annee  intended  to  repel  the  advance  of  Gen.  Kirby  Smith, 
then  reported  to  be  approaching  Richmond,  my  county  town,  by 
way  of  the  eastern  border  —  the  "Big  Hill."  General  Wallace 
asked  me  to  take  command,  being  my  senior,  in  his  stead,  as  I 
was  better  posted  with  regard  to  the  locality  than  he.  To  this 
I  promptly  acceded.  I  borrowed  a  sword  and  pistols,  and  at  once, 
on  Sunday,  took  command  of  the  infantry  and  a  small  battery  of 
artillery,  marched  them  till  near  nightfall  toward  Richmond,  and 
encamped  near  Robert  Wickliffe's  farm,  about  three  miles  from 
Lexington.  The  troops  were  very  raw,  and  not  yet  subjected  to 
rigid  military  order;  but  the  next  day,  the  25th,  the  weather  being 
extremely  warm,  I  moved  the  troops  very  cautiously,  often  resting 
them,  and  taking  up  the  foot-sore  on  the  cannon-carriages  and 
wagons.  Near  night,  as  I  was  about  posting  the  troops  for  the 
night,  and  making  a  defense  of  the  north  bank  of  the  Kentucky 
River,  where  the  passes  were  few  and  unknown  to  the  enemy, 
and  where  I  could  have  made  raw  troops  as  effective  as  veterans, 
and,  as  I  now  believe,  could  have  repulsed  the  force  of  Smith, 
General  Nelson  rode  up  and  relieved  me  from  the  command.  So 
I  went  home  that  night,  and  next  day,  the  25th,  reported  myself 
to  General  Nelson,  at  his  head-quarters  at  Richmond,  expecting, 
as  we  were  old,  intimate  friends,  to  be  invited  to  a  position,  at 
least,  upon  his  staff;  but,  disappointed  in  this,  I  returned  home, 
and  started  for  Frankfort  on  the  27th  of  August,  where,  addressing 
the  Legislature  in  the  Hall  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  I 
urged  the  views  which  I  had  pressed  upon  the  President  with 
almost  unanimous  success.  My  speech  was  reported  by  the  steno- 
grapher of  the  Cincinnati  Gazette,  and  published  in  full  in  that 
journal  in    1862. 

I  know  nothing  of  the  controversy  between  the  parties  about 
General  Nelson's  conduct  on  the  battle-ground.  I  was  told,  on  my 
return   from    Europe   in    1869,   by  Major  Green  Clay,   that  he  took 


312  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

General  Nelson,   after  he  was  wounded,   on   horseback  through  by- 
ways to  Jessamine  County. 

In  justice  to  General  Nelson,  I  want  to  say  that  I  believe  he 
was  a  brave,  and  not  a  bad-hearted  man.  His  schooling  in  the 
navy  unfitted  him  for  the  command  of  volunteers,  where  persua- 
sion and  kindness  must  be  used  in  connection  with  firmness.  Let 
us  all  cast  the  mantle  of  charity  over  the  faults  of  a  man  whose 
patriotism  and  courage  have  never  been  questioned.     Truly, 

CM.  Clay. 

Smith  having  defeated  Nelson  (August  30),  I  returned 
by  way  of  Cincinnati  to  Washington,  handed  a  copy  of  my 
speech  to  Lincoln,  and  made  a  verbal  report  of  my  visit 
to  the  State  of  Kentucky  and  the  Kentucky  Legislature. 
Lincoln  said  but  little;  but,  on  the  2 2d  day  of  September, 
1862,  issued  his  immortal  Proclamation  of  Freedom  for  the 
slaves  in  all  the  rebel  States. 

Thus  my  good  star  stood  high  in  the  heavens ;  and 
whilst  my  enemies  sought  by  unworthy  means  my  ruin,  I 
seemed  by  Providence  to  have  been  called  for  the  culmi- 
nating act  of  my  life's  aspirations. 

A  letter,  written  and  published  about  this  time  by  Prof. 
A.  W.  Blinn,(with  myself  and  others,  my  friends,  the  sub- 
jects,) may  with  propriety  be  introduced  here : 

Political  Recollections  by  Professor  A.    IV.    Blinu. 

CASSIUS    M.    CLAY. 

The  character  and  deeds  of  the  noble  are  the  heritage  of  the 
world.  The  race  is  wiser  and  nobler  for  the  heroism  of  Leonidas, 
the  patriotism  of  Algernon  Sidney,  and  the  incorruptible  integrity 
of  Washington.  In  counting  over  the  heroes  of  the  nineteenth 
century,  posterity  will  not  forget  the  name  of  Cassius  M.  Clay. 
Born  in  affluence,  surrounded  by  the  prejudices  of  slavery,  reared 
amid  its  perverting  and  blinding  influences,  with  every  worldly 
motive  pressing  him  to  follow  the  popular  tide ;  yet,  in  spite  of 
all  these,  in  young  manhood  he  laid  all  upon  the  altar  of  duty 
and  patriotism,   and  consecrated  his  life  to  freedom. 

He  graduated  early  at  Yale  College.  How  much  of  his  love 
of  freedom  and  hatred  of  slavery  he  derived  from  his  free  associa- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  3  I  3 

tions  there,  I  do  not  know.  Certainly  he  had  the  germ  of 
nobility  in  him  —  the  free  air  of  New  England  may  have  had  some 
influence  in  developing  its  power.  Certain  it  is  that  he  entered 
upon  active  life  with  all  the  holy  fervor  of  a  Wilberforce,  and 
the  martyr  intrepidity  of  a  Sidney  and  a  Lovejoy.  He  declared 
for  freedom,   for  Kentucky,   and  the  Nation. 

A  very  hasty  survey  will  show  that  this  was  a  position  of 
great  daring  —  emphatically  a  position  that  "tried  men's  souls." 
Slavery  was  strongly  intrenched  in  Kentucky,  and  in  nearly  half 
the  States  of  the  Union.  It  was  intrenched  in  some  of  the 
"Compromises  of  the  Constitution,"  in  some  of  the  laws  of  Con- 
gress, in  the  statutes  of  many  of  the  States,  and  more  in  the 
property  interest,  and  the  political  influence  which  it  exercised 
in  the  government.  It  was  thus  a  utilizing  interest,  uniting  a 
class  into  a  powerful  oligarchy  —  so  powerful  as  to  control  the 
Government,  State  and  National.  Thus  we  had  a  powerful  and 
proud  aristocracy  in  this  Republic,  bound  together  by  common 
interests  and  conventionalities. 

Mr.  Clay  rose  up  against  this  aristocracy;  broke  from,  and 
defied  all  its  conventionalities.  And  it  was  no  small  thing.  He 
broke  the  laws  of  Caste.  He  took  his  life  in  his  hand.  His  foes 
were  they  of  his  own  household.  Almost  every  earthly  friend  for- 
sook him.  He  stood,  like  Luther,  amid  the  surging  storms  of 
fanaticism  and  madness;  like  Algernon  Sidney,  against  the  leagued 
powers  of  despotism,  and,  for  long  years,  he  stood  alone.  Well 
he  learned  the  meaning  of  the  poet: 

"  But  thou  who  enterest  on  the  sterner  strife 

For  truths  which  men  receive  not  now, 
Thy  warfare  only  ends  with  life. 

A  fearful  warfare,   raging  long, 
Through  weary  day  and  weary  year; 

A  wild  and  many-weaponed  throng 
Hangs  on  thy  front,   and  flank,  and  rear." 

He  informed  me  that,  for  more  than  thirty  years,  there  was 
scarcely  a  night  that  he  did  not  expect  an  attack,  —  that  he  did 
not  expect  violence,  and,  perhaps,  death.  He  grew  familiar  with 
danger.  The  fastidious  critic  may  say  that  he  too  often  provoked 
it.  Perhaps  so  did  Luther.  He  did  not  always  measure,  with 
nice  exactness,  his  words.  His  noble  sense  of  right,  and  indigna- 
tion at  wrong,  flowed  out  in  burning  words,  like  the  pent-up  fires 
of  Vesuvius.       If  they  kindled    a    conflagration,    the    responsibility 


314  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

was  with  those  who  had  built  up  systems  of  wrong  upon  hay  and 
stubble.      Such  impetuous  souls  are  necessary  in  such  times. 

The  gentle  spirit  of  Melancthon  and  Erasmus  would  never  have 
achieved  the  reformation.  William  Lloyd  Garrison  performed  the 
same  noble  function  in  the  Free  States.  Clay's  and  Garrison's 
noble  rage  brought  the  Slave-Power  to  bay,  and  aroused  the  ener- 
gies of  freedom.  Well  I  hear  the  clear  ring  of  Mr.  Clay's  voice, 
amid  that  fearful  din  of  battle:  "For  God  and  the  Right!"  Well 
I  recall  the  noble  words  of  counsel  and  warning  through  his  True 
American;  and  the  shame  and  sorrow  that  filled  millions  of  hearts 
on  hearing  that  a  mob  had  destroyed  that  free  press.  Truth 
seemed  to  be  crushed  to  earth,  but  it  soon  rose  again;  and  the 
same  brave  voice  continued  to  ring  through  the  State  and  the 
Nation.      His  name  was  thence  a  synonym  for  heroism. 

Mr.  Clay's  course  in  the  Mexican  War  surprised  most  of  his 
admirers ;  yet,  I  believe,  few  questioned  the  integrity  of  his  mo- 
tives. His  subsequent  course  attested  his  unwavering  adhesion  to 
principle.  I  believe  that  Mr.  Clay  was  among  the  foremost  to 
urge  upon  Mr.    Lincoln  the  measure  of  Emancipation. 

One  particular  incident  in  Mr.  Clay's  later  life  I  have  marked 
as  illustrating  the  fearlessness  of  his  character,  and  his  readiness  to 
go  where  duty  called. 

During  the  exciting  canvass  of  i860,  he  spoke  from  the  steps 
of  the  State-House,  in  Frankfort,  amid  the  darkness  of  night  —  a 
mark  for  many  who  had  sought  his  life.  But  Kentuckians  are 
too  brave  to  shoot  a  man  in  the  dark.  I  believe  he  spoke  after- 
ward in  the  State-House  to  both  branches  of  the  Legislature,  by 
their  invitation. 

In  brilliance  of  eloquence  and  power  to  command  men,  he  was 
not  equal  to  his  illustrious  relative,  Henry  Clay;  but  in  breadth 
of  views  and  statesmanship,  he  was  his  superior.  He  had  too 
wide  a  discernment  of  moral  causes  and  effects  to  be  deceived 
with  the  sophistry  that  a  compromise  with  slavery  would  restore 
harmony  between  the  sections  of  the  Union. 

This  allusion  to  my  advocacy  of  freedom,  and  my  in- 
fluence with  Lincoln,  is  valuable,  as  I  have  not  been  able 
to  get  a  copy  of  my  speech  of  August,  1862,  before  the 
Legislature  in  session  at  Frankfort,   Kentucky. 

On  the  13th  of  September,  1862,  I  received  the  fol- 
lowing : 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  315 

Head-quarters  of  the  Army, 
Adjutant-General's  Office,  Washington,  Sept.   12,   1862. 
Special  Orders  No.  235  (Extract). 

*  *  *  *  * 

3.  Major-General  Cassius  M.  Clay,  U.  S.  Volunteers,  is  assigned 
to  duty  in  the  Department  of  the  Gulf,  and  will  report  to  Major- 
General  Butler. 

*  *  *  *  >|c 

By  command  of  Major-General  Halleck. 

E.   D.  Townsend, 
Gen.  Clay.  Assistant  Adjutant- General. 

This  order  I  took  next  day  to  Lincoln,  who  immediately 
sat  down  and  wrote  the  following  counter  order: 

Executive  Mansion,  Washington,  Sept.  14,   1862. 
Major-General  C.  M.  Clay  — 

Dear  Sir  :  —  You  need  not  proceed  to  New  Orleans  until  you 
hear  from  me  again.  I  have  an  understanding  with  the  Secretary 
of  War  and  General   Halleck  on  this  subject.      Yours  truly, 

A.   Lincoln. 

Finally  I  sent  in  my  resignation,  as  follows : 

Washington,  D.  C,  Sept.  29,   1862. 
His  Excellency,  A.  Lincoln,  President  — 

Sir  :  —  I  hereby  resign  my  commission  as  Major-General  of 
Volunteers  in  the  United  States  service,  to  take  effect  upon  the 
resignation  of  Simon  Cameron,  Esq.,  as  Minister  Plenipotentiary 
to  Russia. 

I  do  this  to  avail  myself  of  your  promise  to  send  me  back  to 
my  former  mission  at  the  court  of  St.  Petersburg,  where,  I  flat- 
ter myself,  I  can  better  serve  my  country  than  in  the  field,  under 
General  Halleck,  who  can  not  repress  his  hatred  of  liberal  men 
into  the  ordinary  courtesies  of  life. 

I  am  truly,   your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 

Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  Lincoln  promptly  overset  the 
scheme  of  sending  me  to  New  Orleans,   where  the  yellow 


316  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

fever  was  prevailing,  in  the  heat  of  September;  and  where, 
no  doubt,  I,  who  had  wintered  in  the  cold  climate  of  Rus- 
sia, would  have  fallen  a  victim  to  that  epidemic.  Besides, 
all  my  friends  thought  me  a  better  general  than  my  old 
friend,  General  Butler,  who  showed  so  much  genius  in 
other  respects.  I  was  not  advised  what  I  was  to  do ; 
and  the  whole  proceeding  was  so  unfriendly  that  no  one 
thought  I  could  ever  have  a  fair  field  under  Stanton  and 
Halleck's  rule.  So,  thus  timely  relieved,  I  waited  patiently 
till  Lincoln  could  advise  with  Cameron,  and  determine  defi- 
nitely about  my  return  to  Russia. 


CHAPTER   XVII, 


Policy  of  Reconstruction  denounced. — Letter  to  Geo.  D.  Prentice  to  that 
effect. — Interview  with  Stanton. — Letter  from  W.  W.  Seaton. — Let- 
ter from  Stanton. —  I  meet  James  A.  Garfield.  —  Letters  from  S.  P. 
Chase.  —  Henry  Bergh  as  my  Secretary  of  Legation.  —  I  speak,  on  in- 
vitation, at  Albany,  New  York.  —  My  Speech,  refused  publication  in 
the  leading  newspapers,  I  publish  it  as  a  pamphlet. — I  return  to  Russia. 
Letter  from  Bayard  Taylor. — Bismarck. — The  Duke  of  Montebello. — 
Lord  Napier. — Nihilism. — Alexander  II. — T.  Morris  Chester. — Received 
a  guest  at  Gatchina  Palace. —  My  estimate  of  the  Emperor,  Alexan- 
der II. — His  Portrait. — Letters  from  Prince  Gortchacow. 


NOW,  for  the  first  time,  it  began  to  be  discussed  —  as 
the  tide  of  battle,  after  the  Proclamation,  turned  in 
our  favor  —  what  shall  be  done  with  the  conquered  States? 
Sumner,  Stevens,  and  others,  were  for  that  fatal  policy 
which  brought  us  ten  years  of  peace  more  disastrous,  if 
possible,  than  the  four  years  of  war.  I  held,  with  Wash- 
ington, that,  the  rebellion  being  put  down,  the  States  sur- 
vived. As  I  put  it,  "  If  one  loyal  man  survived,  he  was 
the  State."  This  was  the  sentiment  of  Lincoln,  also;  as 
well  as  of  John  J.  Crittenden,  who  had  been  twice  Attor- 
ney-General of  the  United  States.  (See  his  unpublished 
resolutions  in  "Life,"  etc.,  Vol.  II.)   . 

The  same    sentiment  was    expressed  in  my  letter,  *  in 
1866,   from  St.   Petersburg,  to  the  Louisville  Journal;  and 

*  LETTER  OF  CASSIUS  M.  CLAY. 

St.  Petersburg,  Russia,  March  13,   1866. 
Dear  Sir  :  —  I    deem   it   my  duty  to   denounce   the   course  of 
Sumner  and  Stevens.      If  one  man  remains  loyal,   he  ts  the  State. 

I  stand  by  the  President's  veto  of  the  Freedmen's  Bureau  bill. 
Let  the  States  give   the   freedmen   all   civil   rights,   and   by  degrees 

317 


3  I  8  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

the  same  year  the  Republican  Convention  in  Frankfort, 
Kentucky,  re-asserted  the  same  principles. 

The  result  of  the  Sumner  policy  was  the  intensifying 
the  feeling  of  hatred  between  the  South  and  the  North, 
and  the  two  races  every-where.  The  sequence  was  that, 
whereas  there  was  only  eleven  States  against  the  Union 
at  the  peace,  there  are  now,  as  I  foretold,  sixteen  States 
solid  against  the  Republican  Party. 

The  breach  between  me  and  Sumner  was  yet  more 
widened  by  this  divergence  of  Southern  policy.  As  the 
sessions  of  the  Senate  were  secret,  I  do  not  know  whether 
he  opposed  my  confirmation  or  not,  but  I  have  reason  to 
believe  that  he  did,  as  some  New  England  members  voted 
against  me ;  whilst  the  New  York  Times,  Seward's  paper, 
the  Tribune,  and  the  National  Intelligencer,  all  opposed 
me.  So  my  nomination  was  secured  by  the  votes  of 
Garrett  Davis,  Andrew  Johnson,  and  other  Southern 
Union  Senators.  Hon.  James  S.  Rollins,  then  member 
of  Congress  from  Missouri,  aided  me  much?  Mr.  Seward 
and  Thurlow  Weed  entered  the  lobby  of  the  Senate 
against    me,    but    I    had    the    pleasure   of  defeating*   their 

extend  to  them  the  right  of  suffrage.  Or  else  let  an  amendment 
of  the  Constitution  make  one  rule  of  suffrage  for  all  the  States. 
This  attempt  of  Congress  to  interfere  with  the  right  of  the  States, 
after  the  war-power  ceases,  is  an  usurpation  of  power  unknown  to 
the  Constitution,  and  subversive  of  the  whole  theory  of  Repub- 
licanism,  as  based   on   the   old  Constitution  of  the  United  States,  f 

Your  obedient  servant, 

C.   M.   Clay. 
Geo.  D.   Prentice,  Esq., 
Louisville,   Ky. 

t  These  sentiments  and  policy  were,  to  the  letter,  asserted  in  a  Convention  of 
the  Republicans  of  Kentucky  in  Frankfort.  See  resolutions  published  in  the  Com- 
monwealth,   1866. — C,    1885. 

*  Among  many  letters  of  congratulation  on  my  triumph,  I  pub- 
lish this  one  from  a  long-standing  opponent.  Seaton  had  pub- 
lished,   in   the   National  Intelligencer,   a   severe   editorial   against   my 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  319 

enmity ;  the  border  States  supplying  any  votes  lost  to  me 
from  the  North. 

I  had  no  reason  to  like  Stanton ;  and  the  feeling  be- 
tween us  finally  came  to  words.  There  was  a  Southerner 
taken  in  New  York  by  Stanton's  secret  police,  and  brought 
to  Washington  a  prisoner.  Many  of  my  friends,  without 
regard  to  party,  interceded  for  the  man,  and  asked  my  in- 
fluence in  his  behalf.  They  thought,  as  there  seemed  to 
be  no  proof  of  his  having  committed  any  legal  offense, 
that  he  should  be  set  at  liberty.  I  went  reluctantly  to 
Stanton,  and  laid  the  case  before  him.  He,  in  an  insolent 
tone,  said :  "It  is  a  pretty  state  of  affairs,  when  men  ot 
your  position,  with  the  commission  of  a  Foreign  Minister 
in  your  pocket,  should  be  found  interceding  for  the  lib- 
eration of  traitors." 

I  said:  "I  will  let  you  know  that  I  am  your  equal, 
and  care  no  more  for  your  opinions  than  those  of  any 
other  citizen.  There  are  ten  millions  of  men  in  rebellion. 
Do  you  expect  to  execute  them  all?  Or,  rather,  is  not 
the  war  to  be  put  down  by  judicious  clemency,  as  well  as 
force?"     And,  so  saying,  I  took  up  my  hat,  and  retired. 

re-appointment  to  Russia.  In  calling  on  him  to  have  my  reply 
inserted,  a  pleasant  conversation  ensued,  and  a  box  of  Havanas 
was  lost  by  me  on  a  wager;  and  the  sending  of  the  same  was 
the  cause  of  this  note: 

Washington,  March  15,  1863. 
My  Dear  General  Clay: — I  have  had  the  pleasure  to  receive, 
with  your  kind  note,  the  box  of  superb  cigars  which  you  have  sent 
me  to  make  good  your  wager.  General,  during  my  long  life,  I 
have  always  felt,  whenever  I  have  been  fortunate  enough  to  con- 
ceive a  fresh  esteem,  that  a  flower  had  been  cast  in  my  path ;  and, 
as  you  and  I  shall  never  see  each  other,  probably,  again,  I  wish  to 
say  to  you,  that  as  much  as  we  differ  on  some  things,  your  deport- 
ment during  the  last  ten  days  has  won  my  esteem.  Whenever  I 
smoke  one  of  your  regalias,  I  shall  doubtless  think  of  you  ;  and 
with  many  a  whiff,  believe  me,  will  go  up  a  sincere  wish  for  your 
honor  and  happiness.  W.  W.  Seaton. 


320  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

In  a  few  days,  having  occasion  to  call  his  attention  to 
the  case  of  Edward  McMurdy,  who  caused  me  to  lose  so 
much  money,  in  New  York,  in  i869-'70,  I  re-asserted  my 
idea  of  public  policy,  but  expressed  regret  at  any  personal 
difference  between  us ;  as  I  believed  he  was,  at  least,  pat- 
riotic, and  I  appreciated  the  difficulties  of  his  position.  He 
responded  in  the  subjoined  letter: 

War  Department,  Washington  City,  Feb.  25,   1863. 

General  :  —  I  do  not  think  there  is  any  material  difference  be- 
tween us  in  respect  to  the  duty  of  the  Government,  on  the  subject 
referred  to  in  your  note  just  received.  The  only  point  of  difference, 
perhaps,  is  as  to  the  point  of  time  and  the  manner  of  application. 

For  your  confidence  and  support  I  am  thankful,  and  the  senti- 
ment is  fully  reciprocated.  Of  my  failings  and  short-comings  I  am 
conscious,  and  deeply  regret  them  when  they  give  offense  to  friends 
whose  regard  I  esteem. 

The  case  of  McMurdy,  referred  to,  I  do  not  remember;  and 
will  be  happy  to  have  any  information  concerning  it  you  may  be 
pleased  to  communicate,  and  will  be  happy  to  correct  any  injustice 
that  may  have  been  done. 

It  will  give  me  pleasure  to  see  you  at  any  time,  and  trust  you 
will  give  me  an  opportunity  of  doing  so  before  you  leave  the 
country.      With  great  respect,   I  am,   yours  truly, 

Edward  M.  Stanton. 

This  was  manly.  I  saw  no  more  of  Stanton.  Other 
citizens,  whose  good  faith  I  could  count  upon,  from  Ken- 
tucky, were  liberated  from  prison  by  me,  through  direct 
appeal  to  Lincoln.  Among  these  were  Jacob  Hostetter, 
John  George,  and  Chis.  Gouge.  For  such  was  the  hu- 
manity of  the  President,  that  he  was  ever  pleased  when 
he  could  find  a  case  for  justifiable  clemency.  * 

*  When  I  spoke  at  Cleveland,  Ohio,  in  the  canvass  of  1884,  in 
favor  of  Blaine  and  Logan,  John  Hay,  Mr.  Lincoln's  former  private 
secretary,  who  had  married  there,  presided  over  the  vast  Repub- 
lican meeting.  Next  day,  with  some  friends,  we  were  naturally 
talking  over  Mr.  Lincoln's  personal  character,  when  Mr.  Hay  told 
the  following  characteristic  anecdote : 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  32  I 

Mrs.  Lincoln,  who  was  the  daughter  of  my  old  and 
tried  friend,  Robert  Todd,  of  Lexington,  Kentucky,  told 
me  that  they  had  no  confidence  whatever  in  Mr.  Seward's 
friendship,  and  that  I  need  not  fear  his  influence  against 
me ;  that  Mr.  Lincoln  only  tolerated  him  for  political  rea- 
sons. I  visited  Lincoln  often,  at  the  White  House,  and 
the  Soldiers'  Home ;  and  left  him  in  much  better  spirits 
than  when  I  first  arrived  in  Washington. 

Whilst  at  Chase's  home,  as  his  guest,  General  James 
A.  Garfield  was  there,  also,  a  few  days.  I  found  him  a 
very  agreeable  companion,  and  formed  a  favorable  opinion 
of  his  abilities. 

It  need  fairly  be  said  that  I  believed  Chase  to  be,  on 
the  whole,  the  ablest  and  most  patriotic  of  Lincoln's 
cabinet;  and  to  him,  next  to  the  President,  the  country 
is  indebted  for  the  salvation  of  the  Republic.  But  his 
talents  were  not  more  important  than  his  unquestioned 
integrity,  which  enabled  him  to  hold  the  entire  confidence 
of  the  United  States,  and  of  the  world,  in  all  his  financial 
measures. 

Before  I  left  New  York,  a  gentleman,  who  had  much 
cultivated  my  acquaintance  on  a  convivial  occasion,  ven- 
tured to  do  me  the  poor  compliment  of  saying:  "Clay, 
you  and  Chase  are  life-long  friends ;  and  we  all  know 
your  intimate  relations  with  him.  Now,  you  can  do  me 
a  great  favor,  which  would  not  hurt  the  public  interest, 
if  you  could  communicate  to  me  when  the  Secretary  will 
make  some  new  move  in  the   money-market."     I  replied: 

' '  One  day  a  school-fellow  of  mine  got  into  a  bad  scrape,  and 
was  condemned  to  death.  I  appealed  to  Mr.  Lincoln  for  a  pardon, 
and  told  him  of  my  early  associations  with  the  unfortunate  man. 
Mr.  Lincoln,  without  a  word,  sat  down  to  his  desk,  and  began 
writing,  and  then  said:  'You  say,  Mr.  Hay,  that  your  friend  was  a 
good  fellow?'  'No,'  said  I,  'Mr.  Lincoln,  I  must  say,  in  all  truth, 
that  he  was  quite  the  contrary.'  'Well,'  said  Lincoln,  'then  he  is 
too  bad  to  die!'  and  so  he  went  on  and  wrote  the  pardon."  —  C, 
1885. 

Vol.  I. — 21 


322  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

"You  are  right  in  the  estimate  of  my  friendship  for  the 
Secretary  of  the  Treasury ;  but  I  can  not  agree  with  you 
in  your  idea  that  divulging  his  financial  secrets  would  not 
be  injurious  to  the  public  interests ;  and  I  assure  you  that 
any  suggestion  in  that  direction  would  be  an  insult  to 
Chase,  which  would  make  us  enemies  for  life." 

The  following  letters,  from  Salmon  P.  Chase,  I  loaned 
to  a  friend  some  years  ago;  and  only  now  (November, 
1885,)  have  been  able  to  recover  them.  The  intrinsic 
value  and  patriotic  spirit  of  the  man  who  was  second  only 
to  Lincoln  in  the  salvation  of  the  Union,  more  than  its 
complimentary  appreciation  of  myself,  induces  me  now  to 
insert  them,  out  of  their  proper  sequence  in  time: 

Columbus,  May  30,   i860. 

My  Dear  Clay: — You  were  not  more  surprised  than  I  was 
that  you  received  no  votes  at  Chicago  from  the  Ohio  delegation. 
It  was  not,  however,  the  only  respect  in  which  that  delegation  dis- 
appointed my  expectations,  as  well  as  those  of  a  large  majority  of 
the  Republicans  of  Ohio.  Having  received,  myself,  an  unusually 
unanimous  and  emphatic  preference  from  the  Republican  State 
Convention,  when  called  to  appoint  delegates  to  the  National  Con- 
vention, I  desired,  of  course,  the  earnest  support  of  the  Ohio  dele- 
gation. It  would  have  been  gratifying  to  me,  had  that  support 
been  given ;  and  had  it,  at  any  time,  become  evident  that  a  ma- 
jority of  the  Convention  could  not  be  brought  to  harmonize,  in 
judgment  and  action,  with  our  delegation,  I  should  have  been 
pleased  if  you  could  have  received  the  suffrages  previously  given 
to  me.  For,  while  I  supposed  that  Mr.  Seward  and  Mr.  Lincoln, 
as  well  as  yourself,  had  friends  in  the  delegation,  who  would  pre- 
fer one  or  the  other,  according  to  individual  judgment,  in  case  of 
the  withdrawal  of  my  name,  it  did  seem  to  me  that  you  united 
elements  of  character,  ability,  and  popularity  which  would  make 
you  an  available  candidate ;  whilst  your  early,  continued,  and  de- 
voted service  to  the  cause  gave  you  claims  over  the  preference  of 
your  old  co-laborers,  which  no  true-hearted  man  could  fail  to  ap- 
preciate. 

But  our  delegation,  because  of  some  incurable  intolerance  of  a 
very  few,  but  chiefly  in  consequence  of  the  bringing  forward  Mr. 
Wade's  name  in   conflict  with   mine,    in    disregard  of  the  action  of 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  323 

our  Convention,  was  divided  and  powerless  from  the  start,  and  noth- 
ing was  done  as  it  should  have  been  done.  It  is  a  wonder  to  me 
that  any  delegates  from  other  States  gave  me  support  after  our  own 
delegation  exhibited  its  incompetency  to  lead  as  it  should  have  led 
in  my  behalf;  and  I  am  exceedingly  grateful  to  the  noble  and  gen- 
erous men  from  Kentucky,  who  made  good  in  part  their  default. 

While  I  should  have  rejoiced  in  your  nomination  to  the  first 
office,  however,  I  confess  I  cared  little  to  see  you  named  for  the 
second  at  this  time.  The  Vice-Presidency  is  a  post  of  little  influ- 
ence, or  responsibility,  and  not  the  post  for  you,  if  a  better  could 
be  had ;  but  a  better  can  be  had,  if  we  succeed,  for  I  doubt  not 
you  will  be  called  to  take  part  in  the  administration,  as  a  mem- 
ber of  the  cabinet. 

As  for  myself,  I  shall  make  it  my  business  hereafter  to  repress 
aspiration.  It  would  have  been  entirely  satisfactory  to  me  to  see 
my  political  life  closed  with  my  gubernatorial  term.  I  made  no 
canvass  for  election  to  the  Senate,  but  left  that  matter,  as  well  as 
every  other  concerning  myself,  to  the  unprompted  action  of  the 
Republicans.  As  they  have  thought  fit  to  place  me  in  the  Senate, 
I  shall,  if  my  life  is  continued,  take  my  seat  there  to  fulfill  my 
duty.  I  desire  no  other  fate,  and  shall  seek  no  other,  unless  cir- 
cumstances fully  change. 

As  to  your  own  future,  it  can  not  be  brighter  than  I  wish  it. 
It  has  never  been  my  desire  that  your  name  should  not  be  brought 
forward  for  nomination,  because  my  own  chanced  to  be ;  nor  did 
I  suppose,  until  I  received  your  letter,  that  you  felt  any  obligation 
to  give  preference  either  to  Mr.  Seward  or  myself.  I  know  noth- 
ing which  could  create  such  obligation.  It  is  hardly  likely  that 
my  name  will  ever  be  mentioned  again  in  connection  with  the 
Presidency.  If  it  should  be  so  mentioned,  and  yours  should  be 
also  proposed,  and  the  preference  awarded  to  it,  be  assured,  my 
friend,  I  shall  rejoice  in  the  honor  awarded  as  if  it  were  given  to 
a  brother. 

Our  present  duty  is  with  the  present.  The  Convention,  if  it 
has  disappointed  some  hopes,  has  given  us  an  excellent  candidate 
and  an  excellent  platform.  Let  us  do  our  uttermost  to  sustain 
both.  Ohio  will,  I  think,  do  her  duty,  as  usual ;  and  I  hope  that 
Kentucky  will  give  us,  if  not  her  electoral  suffrage,  yet  such  a 
popular  vote  that  it  will  be  clear  to  all  men  that  the  spell  of  the 
Slave-Power  is  broken  forever.  Write  me  often.  Faithfully,  your 
friend.  S.   P.   Chase. 


324  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

Columbus,  January  26,   1861. 

Dear  Clay  :  —  For  the  sake  of  our  organization,  for  the  sake 
of  our  cause,  for  the  sake  of  your  own  future,  for  the  sake  of  our 
country,  give  no  sanction  to  the  scheme  for  the  admission  of  New 
Mexico  as  a  slave  State,  as  the  amendment  to  the  Constitution 
makes  its  future  amendment,  in  respect  to  slaves,  dependent  on 
the  unanimous  consent  of  all  the  States.  We  want  no  compro- 
mises now,  and  no  compromisers.  The  Constitution  is  outraged, 
the  Union  defied  and  broken,  the  laws  despised  and  disregarded. 
Let  these  wrongs  be  remedied  before  one  tittle  of  adjustment.  Let 
us  wait,  at  least,  until  Mr.  Lincoln  is  inaugurated  and  surrounded 
by  a  Republican  administration,  before  we  attempt  to  bring  forward 
measures  which  will  commit  and  divide  the  Republican  Party. 

I  wrote  you  at  White  Hall,  in  reply  to  your  last  letter.  What 
I  said  of  you  to  Mr.  Lincoln,  as  stated  in  that  letter,  was  based  on 
my  belief  that  you,  last  of  all  men,  would  recommend  the  sur- 
render, by  compromises,  of  the  victory  we  had  won  even  before 
the  organization  of  the  administration  which  it  called  to  power. 

Faithfully,  your  friend, 
Col.  C.  M.  Clay.  S.   P.   Chase. 

Whilst  I  was  willing  to  be  spoken  of  as  a  possible 
candidate  for  the  Presidency,  I  sought  neither  the  first 
nor  second  office.  To  me  the  final  triumph  of  my  prin- 
ciples was  of  more  worth  than  elevation  to  office ;  and  I 
thought  Lincoln  and  Chase,  and,  at  one  time,  Seward, 
could  rally  a  large  organized  party  of  personal  and  polit- 
ical followers,  which  was  not  probable  with  my  name  at 
the  head.  For  I  had  begun  already  to  feel  what  Lincoln 
said  in  1862,  that  reformers  incurred  enmities  which  were 
too  strong  for  life-time  elevation.  And  enmities,  alas! 
are  more  potent  in  human  affairs  than  friendships  and 
gratitude. 

It  was  the  policy  of  my  enemies,  of  the  "  Bluff  Ben. 
Wade"  type,  to  cry  out  against  me  "compromise"  and 
of  my  Southern  foes  "ultraism."  Fortunately  for  me,  my 
speech  at  this  time,  herein  reported,  shows  my  true  posi- 
tion. Those  who  care  to  read  it  will  find  that,  whilst 
apparently  conceding    some    rights,  it    claimed    concessions 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  325 

from  the  South,  which  no  man  knew,  so  well  as  I,  would 
never  be  made.  Events  had  placed  me  in  the  leadership, 
and  I  challenge  criticism  as  to  the  lofty  and  impregnable 
grounds  upon  which  I  placed  the  battle  for  the  life  of  the 
Republic.  The  rush  of  events  prevented  any  reply  to 
this  letter;  and  indorsed  on  the  back  in  my  name  I  find  — 
'  'No  Comprom ise  ! ' ' 

Seward,  defeated  in  his  personal  enmity  (by  calling  T. 
Weed  to  Washington  to  lobby  against  me),  and,  which 
was  more,  defeated  in  his  pro-slavery  policy,  continued 
his  malice  against  me,  and  refused  to  advance  any  part 
of  my  salary ;  so  I  had  to  borrow  money  of  private  citi- 
zens to  get  off  once  more  to  Russia.  It  is  true  that  the 
law  does  not  allow  such  advance ;  but  I  was  told  that, 
nevertheless,  such  advance  was  often  made. 

Henry  Bergh  (my  nephew,  Green  Clay,  preferring 
southern  Europe),  was  made  Secretary  of  Legation,  but, 
being  soon  dissatisfied,  he  returned  to  the  United  States ; 
and  is  noted  since  for  his  humanitarian  labors,  though 
his  Society  was  begun  for  the  prevention  of  "  Cruelty  to 
Animals,"  —  in  itself,   in  truth,   humanizing. 

My  speeches  at  Frankfort,  Ky.,  and  New  York  City, 
and  especially  at  Albany,  N.  Y.,  on  February  3,  1863, 
attracted  general  attention  and  comment  in  the  press. 
The  speech  at  Frankfort  went,  through  the  Cincinnati 
Gazette,  over  all  the  Union.  As  Seward  and  Weed  were 
against  the  policy,  my  friends  in  Albany,  Weed's  resi- 
dence, through  the  Law-Class  of  the  University  of  that 
city,  invited  me  to  deliver  my  Frankfort  speech  there 
also,  avowedly  to  counteract  their  unpatriotic  influence.  I 
cheerfully  yielded,  and  made  the  speech,  which  will  be 
published  in  Volume  II.   of  this  work. 

I  was  ahead  of  my  party,  as  usual ;  and  neither  the 
Herald,  Post,  Tribune,  or  the  Times  would  publish  my 
speech  for  love  or  money.  As  Bayard  Taylor,  of  the 
Tribune,  was  Charge  a"  Affaires  at  St.  Petersburg,  my  old 
friend  Greeley,  though   earnestly  asked,  refused  to  publish 


326  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

it.  So  I  went  to  a  job-printer,  and  had  it  printed  at  my 
own  expense,  and  distributed  to  all  the  leading  news- 
papers in  the  United  States.  I  sent  a  copy  to  Lord 
Palmerston,  the  reception  of  which  he  politely  acknowl- 
edged. And  in  Russia  it  was  translated  into  their  lan- 
guage, and  distributed  by  thousands  all  over  the  Empire ; 
for  the  Czar  was  engaged  in  the  same  cause  at  home, 
and  the  arguments  were  good  in  both  nations.  * 

Disgusted  with  England's  enmity  to  our  cause,  I  took 
a  Bremen  steamer;  and,  without  incident,  arrived  safely  at 
St.  Petersburg  once  more. 

As  Cameron,  finding  that  he  could  not  beat  me  before 
the  Senate  on  his  return  home,  had  resigned,  Taylor  was 
Charge  a" Affaires  at  the  imperial  city  when  I  arrived. 
The  intrigues  of  these  gentlemen  to  beat  me  would  afford 
an  interesting  chapter  in  these  Memoirs ;  but,  as  I  find 
my  material  growing  too  large,  I  pass  on. 

*  As  I  have  given  the  congratulatory  letter  of  Seaton,  I  venture 
to  publish  one  (among  many  received  from  other  sources,)  by  a 
patriotic  lady: 

Schenectady,  N.  Y. ,  March  21,   1863. 

My  Dear  Mr.  Clay  :  —  Your  most  kind  letter  was  forwarded  to 
me  from  New  York,  and  was,  I  need  scarcely  say,  received  with 
great  pleasure.  I  write  to  thank  you  for  it,  and  to  say  how  much 
I  regret  that  our  sudden  departure  from  New  York  should  have 
prevented  my  seeing  you  again,  perhaps,  in  a  less  formal  way  than 
as  an  entire  stranger.  My  father  came  from  his  tiresome  duties  in 
Congress  ill,  and  continued  so,  that  for  his  sake  we  were  compelled 
to  seek  a  friendly  atmosphere,  which  we  hoped  would  break  the 
daily  access  of  fever.      It  has  done  so,  thank  God. 

I  congratulate  you  most  heartily  on  your  late  triumph.  Need  I 
assure  you  I  watched  with  anxiety  the  result  of  all  the  opposition 
which  assailed  your  late  appointment,  and  greatly  rejoiced,  not  only 
for  yourself,  but  because  I  am  glad,  for  my  poor  country's  sake, 
when  an  out-spoken  man  gets  a  place  of  honor  and  power.  We 
have,  alas !  so  many  who  are  cowards  at  heart,  and  get  places 
meanly  by  being  non-committal. 

Your  dear  words  I  shall  cherish ;  and  when  you  are  far  away 
over   the   great    deep    sea,    and    among    people   of  another  and   a 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  327 

Cameron  and  Taylor,  on  my  leaving  St.  Petersburg, 
never  had  any  expectation  of  ever  seeing  me  there  again ; 
so,  without  leave,  they  had  taken  possession  of  my  two 
carriages,  which  I  had  left  with  my  chasseur,  John,  and 
used  up  one  of  them ;  and  this,  added  to  my  other  griev- 
ances, left  me  in  no  very  good  humor  when  I  called  upon 
the  Secretary.  But  Taylor  accepted  his  defeat  with  good 
grace ;  and  paid  me  at  once  full  value  for  my  carriage,  as 

strange  tongue,  I  shall  think  of  you  in  your  new  duties,  and  pray 
for  your  success  and  happiness.  May  you  never  know,  in  that  far- 
off  land,    "the  heart  of  a  stranger." 

My  parents  join  me  in  most  cordial  compliments.  I  beg,  dear 
Mr.  Clay,  to  write  myself,  Your  young  friend, 

M.   S.   D. 
Hon.  Cassius  M.  Clay. 

I  call  this  quite  a  good  lesson  in  patriotism  from  one  so  young. 
My  lady  readers  will  want  to  know  something  more  about  this 
romantic  affair.  Yes?  Well,  whilst  I  was  awaiting  orders  in  New 
York  City  —  the  instructions  from  Seward,  which  never  came  —  I 
was  a  guest  at  the  St.  Nicholas  Hotel.  In  the  ladies'  ordinary, 
where  I  always  ate,  of  course,  I  happened  to  sit  near  an  intelli- 
gent middle-aged  lady,  with  a  beautiful  girl  at  her  side,  appa- 
rently not  sixteen.  I  being  a  politician,  the  mother  —  for  so  she 
was  —  began  a  common-place  conversation  with  me,  which  grew 
to  me  more  and  more  agreeable ;  for  I  found  the  girl  was  inter- 
ested with  my  words  also,  though  too  young  to  suggest  an  intro- 
duction. So  thus  we  met,  at  all  our  meals,  for  many,  many  days., 
without  a  single  word  from  the  young  patriot.  She  was  a  native 
of  Massachusetts,  but  educated  from  early  girlhood  in  England, 
and  had  just  returned  home,  as  I  afterward  learned.  As  I  came 
to  be  more  and  more  interested  in  these  people,  coming  in  one 
day,  as  usual,  I  found  their  seats  vacant.  So,  knowing  the  ad- 
dress, I  wrote  a  polite  note  to  the  mother ;  and,  in  a  postscript, 
asked  a  photograph  of  the  correspondent,  which  she  sent  me  to 
Russia.  Now,  my  fair  readers  will  understand  the  accidental  allu- 
sion to  "the  heart  of  a  stranger."  We  never  spoke  to  each  other 
for  long  years;  and  that  young  face  looks  down  on  me  from  my 
library-walls  as  I  write,  coming  through  all  these  years  unchanged 
by  time ;  but,  alas !   we  are  changed ! 


328  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

he  said,  for  both  himself  and  Cameron.  He  had  taken  a 
much  better  house  than  the  one  I  had  left  them  in ;  and 
was,  of  course,  anxious  to  get  it  off  his  hands.  So  I  laid 
aside  my  ill-humor,  took  his  house,  and  entered  into  cor- 
dial relations  with  him.  Mrs.  Taylor  was  a  German 
woman,  and  had  set  out  for  her  own  home ;  so  I  never 
met  her. 

As  some  of  Taylor's  friends  have  been  desirous  of 
placing  him  in  the  attitude  of  superior  service  to  the  Re- 
public, and  to  crown  his  brow  with  laurels  which  I  hon- 
estly won,  I  can  say  truly  that,  in  all  the  time  I  was  in 
St.  Petersburg,  I  never  heard  his  name  mentioned  in  any 
way ;  and  the  reasons  are  not  so  much  in  a  want  of  cul- 
ture and  character  on  the  part  of  Taylor,  as  in  the  Rus- 
sian ideas  of  sentiment  and  policy. 

There  are  but  two  general  classes  in  Russia:  the  No- 
bles and  the  Military,  on  one  side,  and  the  Commonalty 
on  the  other.  Taylor,  whatever  his  merit,  was  ranked  with 
the  latter  class,  and  regarded  as  an  adventurer  —  a  style 
of  person  most  distasteful  to  Russians.  So,  when,  on 
Carl  Schurz's  return  from  Spain  home,  it  was  said  that 
he  would  probably  be  sent  to  Russia,  Gortchacow  said 
to  me,  with  some  warmth.  "We  are  glad  to  have  you, 
an  American,  back  again  with  us ;  but  we  do  not  want 
Europeans,  or  men  of  European  connections,  to  come 
among  us." 

This,  if  it  did  not  embrace  Schurz,  at  least  included 
Taylor,  who  had  married  a  German  wife.  And  Gortcha- 
cow, being  of  the  old  Russian  birth  and  party,  regarded 
Germany  with  great  distrust,  in  spite  of  his  love  of  his 
Emperor,  who  was  part  German  in  blood.  This  is  all  I 
have  to  say  about  Taylor,  or  his  work.  * 

*  LETTER    OF    BAYARD   TAYLOR. 

Gotha,  Germany,  June  16,   1863. 
My  Dear  Sir:  —  Many  thanks  for  the  forwarding  the  dispatch. 
All  the  German   papers  are   publishing  the  substance 
of  Prince  Gortchacow's    note    to    you,    in    answer   to    Mr.    Seward's 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  329 

In  court  circles,  dress  is  of  great  importance.  In  that 
ancient  aristocracy,  the  families  had  not  only  distinct 
"coats  of  arms,"  upon  which  were  wrought  their  insig- 
nia, but  the  whole  dress,  including  the  breeches,  or  pan- 
taloons, were  wrought  by  skilled  workmen ;  so  that  the 
dress  of  the  men  was  as  varied  in  color  and  ornament 
as  that  of  the  women  themselves.  One  can  well  imagine, 
then,  how  the  claw-hammered  dress-coat  and  white  cravat 
would  stand  out  ridiculously  eccentric  in  such  an  assem- 
blage of  gay  suits  and  military  trappings.  The  Russian 
servants,  even,  are  better  dressed ;  and  the  black  suit  was 
mostly  seen  in  the  cafes  and  private  houses  of  foreigners. 
To  avoid  this,  as  no  law  governs  the  subject,  I  first 
dressed  in  my  Colonel's  uniform,  having  held  that  rank  in 
Kentucky.  This  was  well  received ;  but  the  belt  of 
patent-leather  is  also  used  by  the  rank  and  file  of  the 
Russian  regiments.  On  my.  return,  I  wore  the  uniform 
of  my  rank,  as  Major-General,  which  the  act  of  Congress 
allowed,  and  which  every-where  is  a  handsome  and  taste- 
ful dress ;  and,  on  that  occasion,  I  wore  the  elegant  sword 
given  me  by  the  citizens  of  Kentucky,  which  was  made 
by  the  Tiffanys,  and  handsomely  set  with  jewels.  So, 
when  I  returned  into  the  social  circles  of  the  capital,  the 
opinion  prevailed  that  I  had  gone  to  America  to  increase 

reply  to  France.  I  am  very  glad  that  we  are  so  soon  able  to 
repay  Russia  so  promptly  and  consistently.     This  note  of  the  prince 

will  have  an  excellent  effect I  am  convinced  that  you 

are  right  about  Halleck ;  and  that  he  is  the  principal  stumbling- 
block  in  the  way  of  our  rapid  triumph To  show  you 

that  you  are  not  the  only  one  whom  the  newspapers  at  home 
abuse  unjustly,  I  quote  the  following  from  the  Philadelphia  Press: 
"Bayard  Taylor  has  been  removed  from  the  post  of  Secretary  of 
Legation  at  St.  Petersburg  in  consequence  of  having  allowed  his 
name  to  go  before  the  Senate  in  opposition  to  Mr.  Clay."     .     .     . 

Very  truly  yours, 

Bayard  Taylor. 
Hon.  C.  M.  Clay,  etc., 
St.  Petersburg,  Russia. 


330  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

my  rank ;  and  which  was  considered  evidence  of  the 
greater  confidence  of  my  Government.  So  Seward,  in- 
stead of  injuring  me,  had  put  quite  a  feather  in  my  cap ; 
which  feather  I  much  needed,  as  my  chasseur,  John, 
said,  Cameron  had  taken  my  former  ostrich  plume !  But, 
as  I  was  fairly  paid  for  the  carriage,  I  claimed  nothing 
more. 

The  Emperor  received  me  with  great  warmth ;  and  my 
Albany  speech,  translated  into  Russian,  and  so  widely 
circulated,  proved  that  he  indorsed  my  views.  I  was 
made  honorary  member  of  many  social  clubs  and  lite- 
rary and  scientific  societies  in  the  Empire. 

During  my  first  term,  Bismarck  was  the  Prussian  Min- 
ister Plenipotentiary  at  St.  Petersburg.  He  had  not  then 
attained  fame ;  but  I  well  remember  his  large,  fine  figure, 
and  dignified  but  polite  bearing.  He  was,  even  then,  re- 
garded as  a  man  of  ability.  On  my  return,  he  had  been 
recalled,  and  made  Premier  at  Berlin,  where  he  has  since 
so  greatly  advanced  the  Prussian  dynasty. 

The  British  Empire  was  represented  by  Lord  Napier 
as  Embassador,  Spain  by  the  Duke  d'Osuna,  and  France 
by  the  Duke  of  Montebello ;  all  the  other  nations  having 
only  Plenipotentiaries. 

All  European  governments,  but  that  of  Russia,  were 
inimical  to  the  Union,  and  were  rather  cold  in  their  inter- 
course with  me.  They  thought  the  great  Republic  was 
lost,  and  they  could  not  conceal  their  satisfaction.  This 
brought  me  more  in  contact  with  the  Russian  nation,  and 
greatly  aided  me  in  that  friendly  sympathy  which  saved 
the  Republic. 

Before  I  left  for  America  the  first  time,  although  his 
duchess  had  entertained  Mrs.  Clay  and  family,  and  re- 
turned her  call,  the  Duke  of  Montebello  failed,  through 
thoughtlessness,  or  discourtesy,  to  return  my  call.  I  did 
not  intend  to  pass  such  neglect  without  resenting  it.  So, 
after  waiting  a  sufficient  time  for  the  action  of  the  French 
Embassador,    on    the    occasion    of   the    state    dinner   given 


OF   CASSIUS    MARCELLUS   CLAY.  33 1 

at  the  residence  of  Khalil  Bey,  the  Turkish  Minister,  at 
which  all  the  diplomatic  corps  and  the  leading  Russian 
officials  were  present  —  when  the  wine  began  to  flow 
freely — I  asked  to  have  the  glasses  filled,  and  proposed 
"The  friendship  of  the  English  races  and  the  Russian 
Empire."  This  was  out  of  order;  but  something  must  be 
done  to  cure  the  other  slight,  which  was  out  of  order, 
also. 

This  toast  included  Napier,  though  he  was,  of  course, 
our  enemy ;  but  it  was  Montebello  to  whom  I  directed 
my  slight,  and  my  eyes.  Napier  sat  to  my  left,  where 
I  could  hardly  see  his  movements ;  but  I  think  he 
raised  his  glass  only  to  his  lips,  and  set  it  down  full. 
Nor  did  I  care  for  the  sensibilities  of  the  other  Lega- 
tions, all  being  against  us.  But  the  Russians,  who 
grasped  the  situation,  were  pleased  to  the  heart;  and 
drained  their  glasses  to  the  bottom. 

The  next  day  the  Duke  of  Montebello  came  with  a 
card  (not  a  challenge)  of  a  return  visit.  I  met  his  car- 
riage as  I  rode  out,  so  I  did  not  see  him  in  person.  He 
had  concluded,  I  suppose,  that  it  was  easier  to  be  courte- 
ous than  to  have  a  fight  with  a  western  barbarian. 

On  my  return  to  Russia,  the  Embassador  of  France 
was  Baron  de  Talleyrand,  the  descendant  of  the  Prince 
Talleyrand  of  Napoleon's  times.  And  Napier  was  soon 
succeeded  by  Sir  Andrew  Buchanan,  a  fine  old  Scotch- 
man with  royal  blood  in  his  veins.  He  had  known  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  William  Preston,  of  Kentucky,  at  Madrid,  and 
spoke  often  of  them.  Mrs.  Preston  was  Miss  M.  Wick- 
liffe.  During  my  whole  term  he  was  on  cordial  terms 
with  me ;  and,  just  on  the  eve  of  my  final  departure,  he 
dined  me  at  his  country-house,  with  some  of  the  most 
distinguished  Russians,  among  whom  were  Prince  Barrat- 
niski  and  Mademoiselle  the  Princess  Suwarrow.  And, 
although  much  may  be  said  of  John  Bull's  jealousy  of 
America,  it  can  not  be  denied  that,  "Of  all  people,"  as 
Emerson    has    it,    "the    English    stand    squarest    in    their 


332  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

shoes."  They  are  slow  to  form  friendships,  but  are 
equally  tenacious  of  them ;  and  not  at  all  driven  about 
by  foolish  gossip,  and  weak  suspicions.  They  base  their 
esteem  more  upon  character  than  cleverness ;  and  are 
generally  in  all  things  honest. 

All  over  Europe  sour  oranges  are  sold  for  sweet,  if 
you  are  not  on  the  alert.  At  Southampton,  our  ship 
touching  for  a  short  time  to  coal  and  provision,  I  ran 
ashore  to  buy  a  few  oranges,  which  had  to  be  done 
quickly,  as  the  steamer  was  about  to  be  off.  There  was 
an  Englishman  selling  oranges.  I  said  to  him:  "Are 
they  sweet  or  sour?"  "Sour,  sir,"  he  replied.  "Then, 
said  I,  "you  are  the  first  salesman  I  ever  saw  who 
would  say  his  oranges  are  sour ;  so  put  me  up  several 
dozen,  as  you  truly  represent  your  fruit."  This  he  did; 
but  he  hardly  comprehended  why  he  should  be  thus  re- 
warded for  simply  telling  the  truth. 

T.  Morris  Chester,  an  American-born  black  man  came, 
from  the  President  of  Liberia,  to  the  Russian  court,  on  a 
temporary  mission.  He  was  a  well-educated  man,  with 
rather  Moorish  than  African  features,  and  of  good  intel- 
lect and  intelligence.  He  was  received  well  by  the  Em- 
peror, invited  to  attend  a  review,  and  lunched  with  the 
Czar  and  suite.  But  he  did  not  remain  lone  in  St. 
Petersburg,  as  I  suppose  his  means  were  limited.  He 
gave  a  very  unfavorable  account  of  Liberia,  and  said  it 
was  a  very  hard  task  to  keep  the  Liberians  from  becom- 
ing themselves  slave-holders.  If  he  went  back  to  Liberia, 
he  soon  returned  again  to  the  United  States.  Brazil  was, 
for  a  short  time,  represented  also;  and  Mexico,  during 
Maximilian's  short  reign,  had  a  minister,  F.  S.  Mora,  at 
the  Russian  court.  His  lady  was  also  with  him.  I  never 
was  introduced  to  them,  except  through  cartes  de  visile. 
On  one  occasion,  at  a  great  court  ball,  a  lady  called  my 
attention  to  Madame  Mora.  Seeing  the  vast  quantity  of 
jewelry  worn  by  the  Russian  ladies,  in  addition  to  her 
rings,    etc.,    she    had    some    of    the    finest    of    them,    with 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  333 

diamond  sets,  stuck  into  her  hair,  cutting  the  most  ridicu- 
lous figure  possible.  I  gravely  remarked  that  I  thought 
such  pretension  came  well  from  the  representatives  of 
Maximilian. 

The  modern  improvements  and  inventions  in  steam, 
applied  to  railroads  and  travel  and  commercial  transpor- 
tation, as  well  as  the  great  manufacture  and  use  of  cotton 
goods,  made  serfdom  poor  pay.  To  keep  pace  with  the 
more  advanced  nations,  the  Russian  Government  felt  the 
necessity  of  emancipation  and  education.  Besides,  the 
nobles  in  these  large  slave-holding  estates  were  too  pow- 
erful and  refractory  for  autocracy.  So,  when  the  Czar 
liberated  the  serfs,  they  said  :  "  Well,  if  the  spirit  of  the 
age  requires  liberation,  it  also  requires  a  division  of  po- 
litical power."  To  this  the  autocrat  would  not  assent, 
at  once,  at  least.  But  what  could  the  nobles  do  about 
it?  The  army  was,  in  its  officers,  with  the  Government, 
as  all  standing  armies  are.  The  rank  and  file  were  of 
the  serf-class.  There  was  no  motive,  therefore,  for  the 
nobles  to  operate  with,  as  the  soldiers  naturally  sympa- 
thized with  the  Czar. 

There  was,  in  1863,  an  immense  fire  in  all  the  com- 
bustible part  of  St.  Petersburg,  the  work  of  incendiaries. 
Men,  with  gold,  set  their  hirelings  to  fire  houses,  and 
throw  incendiary  documents  into  many  dwellings, —  there 
was  a  reign  of  terror.  The  object,  no  doubt,  was  to  get 
up  a  desperate  mob  for  revolutionary  purposes.  But  the 
Emperor  and  his  staff,  and  the  Czarowitz,  rode  among 
the  people  without  fear,  and  assisted  in  checking  the 
fires.  So  the  discontented  nobles  were  left  without  other 
resort  than  assassination  and  intimidation.  This  is  the 
cause,  I  believe,  of  the  origin  of  Nihilism.  And  its  suc- 
cess would  not  save,  but  sink,  the  nation.  For  no  pro- 
gression can  rest  upon  such  basis  of  the  sum  of  all 
crimes.  The  upshot  of  such  a  forcible  overthrow  of  the 
central  power  would  be  universal  anarchy,  and  the  disso- 
lution   of   the    Empire    back    into    petty  governments,    and 


334  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

old-time  barbarism.  Were  I  a  Russian,  I  should  certainly 
be  on  the  side  of  absolutism,  and  await  such  progress  as 
came  of  general  enlightenment  and  slow  civilization. 

Nihilism  —  human  language  has  not  invented  a  term 
of  greater  infamy.  Murder  is  terrible  enough ;  war  suffi- 
ciently horrible ;  but  what  shall  be  said  of  those  who  re- 
duce crime  to  a  system,  which  perpetuates  revenge,  car- 
ries the  evils  of  war  from  the  military  tent  into  every 
household,  and  makes  the  bloodshed  and  destruction  of 
the  passing  battle-field  an  eternal  woe  to  every  living 
soul?  Nihilists  are  sowing  dragons'  teeth,  and  soon  they 
will  spring  up  into  legions  of  armed  men.  This  is  that 
fatal  disease  under  various  symptoms  and  many  names  — 
faction,  ostracism,  treason,  Jacobinism,  anarchy,  revolution, 
Caesarism  —  which  comes  at  last  to  every  nation,  and  which, 
if  not  sternly  and  heroically  resisted,  ends  in  death.  For 
self-government  is  born  of  capabilities,  and  can  not  be  the 
fruit  of  any  enforced  formula. 

Whilst  autocracy  can  not  be  supposed  to  sympathize 
with  popular  government,  like  that  of  the  United  States ; 
yet,  as  an  ally  against  a  common  rival  —  England  —  it  was 
quite  natural  that  Russia  should  desire  the  preservation 
of  the  American  Union.  And  this  Gortchacow  repeatedly 
avowed  —  that  oilr  naval  power,  at  least,  was  a  necessary 
element  in  the  world's  balance  of  power,  especially  against 
England,  the  natural  enemy  of  Russia.  When  we  pro- 
claimed liberty  to  the  slaves,  we  gave  an  earnest  of  final 
consolidation,  enlisted  the  popular  heart  of  England  and 
France  upon  our  side,  and  made  those  rulers  fear,  in  a 
war  with  Russia  behind,  impossible  progress  in  the  aid 
of  the  South  by  war  upon  Mexico.  When  the  Russians, 
therefore,  sent  their  navy  into  New  York  harbor,  it  was 
generally  believed  that  there  was  an  understanding  of 
mutual  aid.  The  ships  could  either  there  be  safe,  or  as- 
sist the  Americans ;  whilst  Russia  could  advance  toward 
India  by  land. 

Many  attempts  were  made  to  sound  me  upon  this  sub- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  335 

ject ;  but  I  looked  wise  and  said  nothing.  Whatever  may 
have  been  the  ultimate  purpose,  Russia  thus  made  a  mas- 
terly exhibition,  which  broke  up  the  Mexican  invasion,  and 
prevented  a  foreign  recognition  of  the  Confederate  States. 

Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  when  the  first  attempt 
was  made  upon  the  life  of  the  Czar  at  the  summer- 
garden.  The  serfs  understood  the  movement  against  his 
person ;  and  such  demonstrations  of  love  and  admiration 
I  never  saw  before  any  where.  For  days  and  nights  the 
Winter  Palace  was  besieged  by  thousands  of  the  peas- 
antry; and  they  were  not  content  till  the  Czar  continually 
showed  himself  on  the  balconies  of  the  palace.  My  chas- 
seur, who  was  a  freedman,  was  an  intelligent  man ;  and 
he  said  to  me,  if  the  nobles  killed  the  Emperor,  the  peo- 
ple would  kill  the  last  one  of  them  in  revenge. 

In  acknowledgment  of  the  hospitality  shown  the  Rus- 
sian fleet  in  America,  I  was  invited  by  the  Emperor  to 
visit  him  at  Gatchina.  This  palatial  villa  lies  on  a  spur 
of  hills  and  cool  valleys,  a  long  day's  drive  south  from 
St.  Petersburg.  Much  of  the  court  was  there.  We  had 
trout-fishing  and  walks  in  the  groves,  by  day ;  with  danc- 
ing by  night.  The  trout  were  caught  in  advance,  and  put 
into  cool  pools  of  running  water,  with  wire  screens,  so 
that  they  could  not  escape.  We  could  catch  as  many  as 
we  wanted,  and  what  were  caught  were  eaten.  Nothing 
could  be  finer  for  sport  or  for  the  table.  I  was  reminded 
of  the  fishing  of  Pompey  with  Cleopatra,  who  had  divers 
to  put  fish  on  the  hooks.  Many  thought  the  fish  were  in 
their  native  waters;  though  I,  an  old  fisherman  knew  bet- 
ter.     But  I  kept  my  own  secret. 

In  no  country  in  the  world  are  the  summers  more  de- 
lightful than  in  Russia.  Round  tables  were  set  under 
the  thick-shading  trees ;  and  the  company  was  thus  broken 
into  agreeable  groups  of  men  and  women. 

The  Emperor  and  I  dined  at  one  table  alone ;  which 
was  indicative  that  I  was  the  honored  guest.  He  was 
very  amiable,  and  very  abstemious  in  his  eating  and  drink- 


336  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

ing,  not  only  there,  but  at  all  his  dinners  and  balls— a 
man  of  industry,  and  well  informed  in  affairs.  He  had  a 
summary  made  of  the  articles  of  interest  in  all  foreign  and 
domestic  newspapers,  so  that  he  could  quickly  be  informed 
of,  and  keep  pace  with,  passing  events.  He  was  humane, 
generous,  and  brave.  This  he  showed,  not  only  at  the 
great  burning  at  St.  Petersburg,  but  when  once  he  was 
absent,  and  the  Grand  Duke  Nicholas  threw  many  stu- 
dents into  prison,  because  of  a  supposed  conspiracy  and 
emeute.  As  soon  as  the  Emperor  returned,  he  ordered 
them  all,  without  trial,  to  be  liberated ;  thus  showing  a 
brave  and  generous  spirit.  When  he  walked,  which  he 
did  every  day  when  in  St.  Petersburg,  alone  on  the 
streets,  or  in  the  summer-garden  without  guards,  although 
it  was  against  etiquette  for  men  of  cultivation  to  speak  to 
him,  the  poorer  people,  men  and  women,  often  stopped 
him,  and  personally  made  their  petitions.  This  was  often 
seen  by  me ;  and  understood  to  be  always  agreeable  to 
him. 

It  has  been  the  habit  of  some  foreigners  to  speak  of 
Alexander  II.  as  a  weak  prince.  This  is  not  true.  He 
was  not  a  brilliant  man,  being  more  of  the  German  type 
than  the  Russian,  with  a  fine  person,  and  large  round 
face  and  head,  with  large  blue  eyes,  and  amiable  expres- 
sion ;  but  he  was  a  man  of  good  common-sense.  And, 
if  he  was  not  equal  to  the  times  in  which  he  lived,  it  was 
rather  because  such  great  changes  are  too  strong  for  any 
man,  than  that  he  was  not  a  strong  man  himself.  We 
must  judge  an  autocrat  by  his  ministers,  and  his  public 
policy,  rather  than  by  any  superficial,  personal  criticism. 
And,  judged  by  this  standard,  what  government  in  the 
world  showed  more  tact,  and  reaped  more  success,  than 
the  Russian?  His  prime  minister,  Gortchacow,  was  hardly 
equalled ;  and  his  viceroys  and  generals  were  very  eminent 
men  every-where. 

The  policy  of  an  autocrat  is,  of  course,  great  reserve 
in  conversation,  and  the  Czar  rarely  violated  the  rule,  and 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  337 

rarely  touched  on  politics.  Once,  however,  when  I  spoke 
of  the  supposed  alliance  between  England  and  France 
against  the  United  States,  I  ventured  to  say  that  France, 
in  uniting  with  Russia's  old  enemy,  England,  could  not  be 
supposed  to  be  favorable  to  Russia.  The  Emperor  re- 
plied, with  decision:  "Yes;  Napoleon  is  not  to  be 
trusted,"  So,  from  many  unimportant  revelations  of  char- 
acter, summed  up,  I  thought  the  Emperor  a  man  of  fine 
common-sense. 

It  is  not  for  us  to  say  that  Alexander  II.  was  not  a 
man  of  ability  because  he  fell  by  the  hands  of  assassins ; 
for  two  of  our  presidents  died  in  the  same  way.  Yet  who 
would,  for  that  reason,  assert  that  Lincoln  and  Garfield 
were  not  men  of  great  talents?  We  get  all  our  ideas  of 
Russia  and  Russians  through  English  sources,  ever  col- 
ored with  implacable  rivalry ;  but  I  think  posterity  will  rank 
Alexander  II.,  not  only  with  the  good,  but  the  great  rulers 
of  the  world.  Fortunate  was  he  in  his  life,  in  the  great- 
est act  of  humanity  allotted  to  man  —  the  liberation  of 
23,000,000  of  men.  And  fortunate  was  he  in  his  death, 
if  to  fall  a  martyr  to  the  vindication  of  great  principles  is 
allowed  to  be  the  favor  of  the  gods.  For,  since  all  men 
must  die,  it  is  well  to  so  die  that  posterity  shall  shed 
tears  of  grateful  memory  for  the  dead. 

I  translate  and  publish  the  following  letters  from  the 
Russian  Premier  to  show  how  far  I  had  well-served  my 
country  abroad,  and  how  unjust  was  my  recall : 

St.  Petersburg,  February  14,   1862. 

Sir:  —  I  have  not  failed  to  place  under  the  eyes  of  the  Em- 
peror, my  august  master,  the  letter  which  you  were  pleased  to 
address  to  me  at  the  moment  of  the  new  duties  which  recall  you 
to  your  country. 

His  Imperial  Majesty  has  been  profoundly  moved  {touche)  by  the 
sentiments  which  you  express,  as  well  in  your  own  name  as  in  that 
of  the  American  nation. 

His  Majesty  congratulates  himself  (se  filiate)  upon  the  good  rela- 
tions which  unite  the  two  countries,  and  of  which  neither  distance 
Vol.  I. — 22 


338  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

(I'eloignement),  nor  difference  of  institutions,  nor  any  antagonism 
of  interest,  have  been  able  to  diminish  the  warm  sympathy.  Their 
mutual  friendship  is  not  only  a  rational  political  calculation  (calcul), 
it  is  yet  more  —  a  national  instinct ;  and  it  is  this  which  makes 
its  strength  {force).  His  Majesty,  the  Emperor,  has  experienced 
(epreuve)  a  lively  satisfaction  in  finding  in  your  letter  the  echo  of 
these  friendly  dispositions. 

I  need  not  assure  you  of  those  which  animate  His  Majesty,  the 
Emperor,  and  all  Russia  {toute  entiere),  toward  the  United  States. 
You  know  them.  Your  Government  is  not  ignorant  of  them.  It 
knows  that  our  aspirations  (voa/x)  accompany  it  in  the  internal 
crisis  through  which  it  is  passing ;  and  how  much  we  desire  to  see 
it  emerge  promptly,  by  means  which  consolidate  its  power,  in 
founding  it  upon  the  Union.  It  is  that  a  like  result  may  be  at- 
tained, that  we  have  recommended  to  it  warmly  the  consolidation 
which   " sied  a  la  force." 

Your  place  is  needed  in  the  universal  equilibrium  of  nations. 
She  will  be  great  by  "/a  coneorde."  Russia  will  hail  (saluerd),  with 
her  most  vital  sympathies,  all  progress  that  you  accomplish  in  that 
way ;  persuaded  that  she  will  find,  under  all  circumstances,  in  the 
American  nation  a  cordial  reciprocity. 

At  a  moment  when  you  are  going  to  report  in  your  country  the 
impressions  which  your  sojourn  among  us  has  left,  I  am  happy  to 
be  able  to  reiterate  to  you  those  assurances. 

I  should  not  know  how  to  close  without  thanking  you  for  the 
co-operation  {concours)  that  you  have  constantly  afforded  me  for  the 
maintenance  of  the  intimate  relations  between  our  governments,  and 
without  expressing  to  you  the  regrets  with  which  I  shall  witness 
the  cessation  of  our  personal  associations,  of  which  I  shall  retain 
the  liveliest  remembrance. 

Be  pleased,  sir,  to  receive  with  this  assurance,  that  of  my  most 
distinguished  consideration.  Gortchacow. 

Czarsko  Salo,  June  15,    1862. 

Dear  Mr.  Clay:  —  I  made  an  effort  of  friendship  to  reply  to 
your  confidential  letter  of  yesterday.  Suffering  with  a  very  violent 
attack  of  the  gout,  I  am  compelled  to  be  laconic. 

The  Emperor  was  well-satisfied  with  your  discourse,  and  with 
that  of  Mr.  Cameron.  In  his  response,  his  majesty  has  expressed 
to  you  his  lively  (I'ivres),  profound,  and  unalterable  sympathies  for 
the  American  Union,  and  the  earnest  desires  (voeux)  which  he  con- 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  339 

ceives  for  the  near  end  of  the  intestine  war  which  divides  you  to- 
day, and  for  a  reconciliation  which  would  restore  the  Union  to  its 
ancient  splendor. 

You  know  that  this  is  a  permanent  aspiration  (voeu)  of  the  Em- 
peror, with  which  I  am  always  associated  with  all  my  convictions. 

My  august  master  has  expressed  to  you  his  satisfaction  for  the 
manner  you  have  acquitted  yourself  of  your  diplomatic  functions 
near  his  person,  and  has  manifested  the  firm  hope  that  we  shall 
find  the  same  dispositions  in  your  successor. 

Receive,  dear  Mr.  Clay,  with  my  sincere  regrets  for  the  cessa- 
tion of  relations,  which  under  public  associations  {rapports),  as  well 
as  under  private,  leave  me  memories  which  I  shall  cherish  (conser- 
verai)  always  with  pleasure,  the  assurance  of  my  most  devoted  sen- 
timents. Gortchacow. 

Czarsko  Salo,  June  23,    1862. 

Dear  Mr.  Clay: — The  Empress  has  expressly  charged  me  to 
say,  that  the  photographs*  you  have  sent  her  have  given  her  great 
pleasure.  Her  majesty  thanks  you.  His  highness,  the  Grand  Duke 
Heritier,  expresses  to  you  the  same  sentiments. 

In  return  for  this  message,  I  ask  a  favor  of  you  in  my  behalf. 
It  is  this:  to  send  me  also  your  "carte"  for  the  album  of  my  friends. 
I  shall  sacredly  (precieusement)  preserve  the  large  photograph  which 
you  have  sent  me;  but  I  wish  to  fill  in  my  album  the  place  which 
I  have  left  vacant  for  your  "carte."  Please  believe  in  the  assurance 
of  all  my  sentiments.  Gortchacow. 

The  reader  will  remark  the  refined  delicacy  which  char- 
acterizes the  style  of  Russian  high  life. 

St.  Petersburg,  October  5,  1862. 
I  have  received,  with  infinite  pleasure,  your  letter  of  the  20th 
September.  My  dear  Mr.  Clay,  the  impressions  which  you  con- 
vey (do/it  vons  me  faitcs  pa7i,)  to  me  upon  the  state  of  affairs  in 
your  country  have  had  for  me  much  interest.  You  know  with 
what  profound  sympathy  we  follow  the  march  of  those  grand 
events.  All  that  can  make  even  dimly  appear  (/aire  entrevoir)  the 
near  issue  of  a  strife  that  we  deplore,  and  bring  about  a  reconcilia- 

*They  were  the  photographs  of  my  two  youngest  daughters. — C. 


34-0  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

tion  which  is  the  object  of  our  prayers  (voeitx),  will  be  always 
received  by  us  with  satisfaction,  as  a  pledge  of  the  power  and 
prosperity  in  store  for  a  people  toward  whom  the  Russian  nation 
professes  esteem  and  friendship. 

Till  then,  let  me  tell  you  how  sensible  I  have  been  of  your 
affectionate  remembrance,  and  how  I  would  rejoice  if  circum- 
stances should  bring  you  again  in  our  midst. 

At  the  same  time,  dear  Mr.  Clay,  receive  the  assurance  of 
all  my  sentiments.  Gortchacow. 

This  last  letter  was  written  to  me  whilst  I  was  in 
America,  in  1862,  in  reply  to  one  of  mine,  when  I  had 
reason  to  believe  that  Lincoln  would  soon  issue  his 
Emancipation  Proclamation,  which  he  did  two  days  after 
the  date  of  mine.  For,  whilst  I  had  no  confidence  in  our 
success,  should  slavery  be  sheltered  by  our  army,  or  our 
cowardice,  I  had  infinite  confidence  in  our  triumph  under 
universal  freedom. 

These  sentiments  of  the  Emperor  and  the  Empress, 
the  Heritier  and  of  Gortchacow,  were  no  doubt  intensified 
by  the  great  injustice  of  my  recall.  For,  as  I  said,  no 
government  on  earth  is  better  posted  on  foreign  affairs 
than  the  Russian.  I  represented  the  Russian  idea  of 
home-policy ;  and  Seward's  enmity  was  well  known  as  to 
me,  and  my  cause.  So  Gortchacow  showed  as  much  dis- 
like for  Seward  as  I  did ;  as  will  be  seen  in  these  Mem- 
oirs. 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 


High  Life  in  Russia. — Infant  Asylums  and  the  Ballet* — Actors  and  Singers. 
Lucca,  Patti,  and  Ristori. — Fanny  Kemble;  her  letter. — Letter  of  the 
Baroness  Louise  Jomini. — How  I  escaped  from  "Devouring  Dogs." — The 
Military. — Invited,  I  visit  the  Princess  Dalgorouki.  —  Associations. — 
The  Clubs. — The  Citv  of  St.  Petersburg. — Marriage  of  Alexander  III. — 
The  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia. — Great  Britain's  Prince  of  Wales. — Prince 
George  of  Denmark,  now  King  of  Greece. — The  Grand  Duchess  Olga. — 
The  White  Hall,  its  Conservatory. — The  Hermitage  great  Gallery  of 
Paintings. 


THERE  were  extensive  graperies  at  Gatchina;  and, 
gathered  by  fair  hands,  they  were  no  small  part  ol 
the  pleasures  of  this  mountain  home.  The  Russian  no- 
bility are,  men  and  women,  of  the  finest  possible  physique. 
They  are  not  so  small  as  the  French,  nor  so  rugged  as 
the  English.  The  women  have  the  highest  culture  in  all 
that  is  beautiful  and  winning  in  the  sex.  They  are  rather 
fuller  in  person  than  the  American  girls,  with  a  subdued 
manner,  which  our  country-women  so  much  need.  They 
never  assert  themselves,  having  too  much  tact  for  that. 
What  is  the  strangest  of  all  is  that  these  people,  with  no 
trace  of  western  blood  in  their  veins,  are  more  like  Amer- 
icans than  any  of  the  European  nations.  The  oriental 
ideas  of  the  seclusion  of  the  sexes  remains  to  a  great 
extent  in  Russian  society.  The  mother,  or  some  other 
chaperon,  always  accompanies  the  girls  to  places  of  as- 
sembly of  all  kinds.  When  one  is  invited  to  a  ball  or 
private  party,  the  being  there  is  a  sufficient  guarantee  of 
respectability ;  and  any  man  may  dance  with  any  lady 
with  or  without  a  formal  introduction.  They  generally 
make  a  card-list  of  appointments  in  the  usual  way ;  and, 
when  the  engagement  is  due,  the  young  man,  or  other 
gentleman,  bows,   takes  the  lady's  hand,  and  dances,  with- 

34T 


342  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND  SPEECHES 

out  saying  a  word.  Then,  returning  her  to  her  seat,  bows 
again ;  and  this  is  about  all  the  intercourse. 

When  one  is  quite  intimate  in  a  family,  some  small 
liberty  of  conversation  is  tolerated ;  but  this  is  rare  in 
public  assemblies.  In  consequence,  marriages  are  made 
by  the  parents,  even,  at  times,  before  the  young  couple 
have  ever  spoken  to  each  other.  As  a  general  thing, 
their  marriages  are  more  fortunate  than  ours  here,  where 
the  silly  youth  are  allowed  to  marry  without  any  judgment 
of  character.  And  certainly  our  boasted  liberty  of  the  sex 
is  leading  to  very  tragical  results. 

All  the  old  civilizations  are  astonished  at  the  freedom 
of  intercourse  between  the  sexes  in  America.  In  primi- 
tive times,  this  was  all  very  well,  among  a  people  well-off, 
equal  in  circumstances,  moral  and  religious,  with  little  of 
the  leisure  and  the  luxuries  of  the  older  nations.  But 
now  all  that  is  changed.  We  have  the  wealth,  the  leis- 
ure, and  the  luxuries  of  the  old  world ;  whilst  the  moral 
ideas  are  disturbed  by  the  decay  of  all  forms  of  religion, 
and  the  rapid  intercourse  between  the  extremes  of  civili- 
zation, in  consequence  of  the  railroads,  steamships,  and 
all  the  modern  means  of  communication  —  the  press,  the 
telegraph,  and  all  that.  Nature  takes  care  that  all  animal 
life  shall  be  preserved ;  and  hence  the  sexual  passion  can 
not  be  easily  controlled.  It  is  the  province  of  the  family 
and  the  State  to  restrain  the  impulses  of  the  sexes  till 
the  full  maturity  of  the  person  is  achieved.  Then  early 
marriages  are  the  best  means  of  conserving  virtue.  In 
the  meantime,  a  philosophical  system  of  education,  leading 
the  mind  and  sentiments  and  body  into  agreeable  chan- 
nels of  innocent  pleasure,  is  the  highest  conservative  in- 
fluence. 

Especially  must  we  deprecate  our  foolish  children's 
parties,  and  the  American  custom  of  having  children  en- 
ter society  in  earliest  youth.  For  of  this  comes  a  devel- 
opment of  the  passions  before  the  intellectual  and  phys- 
ical maturity  of  the   person.      There   are   now   in   some   of 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  343 


these  States  more  divorces  than  in  any  other  civilized  com- 
munities on  earth.  And  the  Catholic  religion  has  its  great- 
est strength  because  of  its  conservative  influence  upon  the 
family  ;  which  is  the  base  of  all  civilization. 

I  have  had  large  experience  of  observation  in  this  re- 
gard ;  and  say,  without  fear  of  contradiction,  that  oppor- 
tunity is  the  most  fatal  of  all  to  the  virtue  of  the  sexes. 
Just  now  the  rage  in  the  large  cities  is  for  women  to 
marry  their  coachmen!  Well,  then,  they  must  not  be  left 
alone  with  their  coachmen !  Buggy  rides  are  common  with 
lovers ;  and,  lately,  a  lady  was  drugged  in  one  of  these 
rides,  when  her  ruin  could  not  be  otherwise  achieved !  But 
I  wander  from  my  narrative. 

After  marriage  in  Russia,  as  elsewhere  in  Europe, 
there  is  more  liberty  allowed ;  more  than  is  here.  After 
much  experience  in  the  world,  among  many  nations,  I  am 
inclined  to  believe  that  chastity  is  very  equally  shared  by 
all ;  and  that  there  is  more  virtue  in  all  than  is  lightly 
allowed.  Nevertheless,  where  large  armies  exist,  as  in 
Russia,  where  marriage  would  be  very  precarious  in  its 
domestic  enjoyment,  as  troops  move  often,  and  without  the 
means  of  transporting  women,  liaisons  are  very  common ; 
and  it  is  not  thought  discreditable  to  have  a  mistress 
All  that  is  required  is  to  keep  up  the  proprieties,  and 
never  to  have  a  scene.  These  girls  are  often  as  true,  or 
even  more  true,  than  wives  themselves.  For,  in  conse- 
quence of  made-matches,  there  is  an  easy  excuse  for  the 
wandering  of  the  affections  of  the  doomed  parties ;  and 
they  are  very  tolerant  of  each  other. 

In  Russian  cities  there  are  asylums  for  infants.  The 
children  are  put  into  the  hands  of  the  female  superin- 
tendents and  matrons,  no  questions  being  asked ;  and 
numbers  are  given,  in  case  the  parents  should  be  dis- 
posed to  recover  the  child  at  any  time.  These  infants, 
from  a  day  old  and  upward,  when  taken,  are  kept  at 
the  public  expense  till  they  are  of  a  suitable  age  to  put 
out    to    service ;    when    they  go    into    the    mass    of  society 


344  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

again.  They  generally  amount  to  thousands  in  St.  Peters- 
burg and  Moscow.  But  this  is,  by  no  means,  an  evidence 
of  illegitimacy ;  for,  so  far  as  I  could  learn,  not  only  the 
peasants,  but  women  in  high  life,  whose  pecuniary  circum- 
stances were  greatly  reduced,  avail  themselves  of  the 
chance  to  put  their  burdens  upon  the  state.  Lying-in 
apartments  are  also  provided.  After  seeing  all  the  effects 
of  this  institution,  I  am  clearly  of  the  opinion  that  it  is 
a  wise  and  charitable  remedy  in  part  for  one  of  the  great- 
est evils  of  civilization.  Who  can  imagine  the  woe  that 
follows  an  unhappy  frailty,  when  so  many  women  commit 
suicide,  and  throw  their  newly-born  infants  into  sewers 
and  rivers  and  the  sea!  And  how  many  might  not  live 
on,  and  enjoy  comparative  happiness,  if  their  first  in- 
discretion did  not  drive  them  into  habitual  infamy  and  de- 
spair! 

The  ballet  of  Russia  belongs  to  the  Department  ot 
Theaters,  and  which  is  a  regular  ministry.  From  these 
infant  asylums  the  most  perfect  forms  are  selected  for  the 
ballet ;  where  they  receive  a  very  good  education,  espe- 
cially in  all  that  improves  the  taste  for  the  beautiful  in 
dress,  flowers,  ornamentation,  and  all  that.  Any  one  ac- 
quainted with  physiognomy  will  see  that  many  of  these 
ballet-girls  and  boys  are  of  noble  genealogy.  The  larg- 
est theater  in  St.  Petersburg  is  devoted  to  the  opera,  and 
the  ballet,  and  concerts,  at  intervals.  The  ballet  is  not 
often  attended  by  the  ladies  of  the  higher  nobility;  but 
gentlemen  of  every  society  are  fond  of  the  ballet.  The 
Emperor  goes  often;  though  he  sits  in  a  private  box  unob- 
served. The  best  instructors  in  Europe  are  employed  in 
teaching  the  dancers.  Nothing  lascivious  in  the  least  is 
ever  allowed ;  and,  with  postures  which  would  make  an 
American  woman  blush  to  the  very  hair,  a  ballet-girl  will 
wear  the  face  of  innocence  and  unconsciousness  which 
might  be  called  angelic.  In  fact,  they  are  pure ;  and  their 
education  accustoms  them  to  their  profession.  So  a 
woman,    in    all    countries,    will    expose    her   bust    in    dress- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  345 

circles,  which  she  would  regard  as  a  disgraceful  act  at 
other  times.  So  much  are  we  the  creatures  of  custom 
and  fashion. 

The  ballet  is  generally  a  mimic  melo-drama,  where  the 
regular  plot  is  advanced  by  signs  and  actions,  intermin- 
gled with  dances  and  poses,  as  easily  understood  as  words. 
The  ballet-scenery  is  got  up  with  great  expense,  and  the 
best  artists  are  employed  in  the  decoration  and  stage 
machinery,  which  costs,  at  times,  as  much  as  30,000 
rubles  for  a  single  ballet.  The  band  is  equal  in  excel- 
lence to  that  of  the  opera,  and  is  generally  the  same. 

The  Minister  of  Theaters  goes  all  over  Europe,  and 
selects  the  best  singers  and  actors ;  and,  whilst  I  was 
there,  Patti  and  Lucca,  and  other  noted  singers,  could  all 
be  heard.  The  best  actors  and  singers  are  not  received 
in  the  first  social  circles  in  Russia ;  and,  even  when  en- 
gaged for  private  concerts,  they  are  kept  a  separate  class. 
But  in  secondary  circles  they  are  often  invited ;  where  gen- 
tlemen of  every  rank  may  also  go  with  propriety.  Not 
even  Patti,  after  she  married  the  Marquis  de  Caux,  was 
received  at  court. 

I  had  heard  Patti  sing  "  Comin'  thro'  the  rye,"  and 
other  Scotch  ballads,  in  Cincinnati,  whilst  she  was  yet 
wearing  short  dresses ;  and,  as  all  ranks  to  me  were  the 
same  in  every  land,  I  called  upon,  and  told  her  of  my 
earlier  acquaintance  with  her,  through  Strakosch.  When 
the  Marquis  returned  my  visit,  he  entertained  me  with 
telling  me  how  Strakosch  had  cheated  him  out  of  Patti's 
earnings !  I  was  completely  disgusted  with  him ;  and  I 
was  not  at  all  surprised  that  she  finally  left  him,  and  got 
a  divorce,  having  found  out  to  her  sorrow  that  nobleness 
of  soul  does  not  always  go  with  nobility  of  blood. 

I  was  in  Patti's  box  when  she  made  her  first  appear- 
ance in  opera  at  St.  Petersburg.  The  Russians  are  a  very 
proud  people,  and  were  not  willing  to  take  Patti's  sing- 
ing on  the  decision  of  others ;  so  they  withheld  for  some 
time    their    applause.      At   last,    however,    (who    could    do 


346  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

otherwise?)  they  burst  out  into  their  usual  enthusiasm, 
when  pleased.  Patti  returned  to  her  box  highly  excited 
and  gratified.  I  began  to  make  an  explanation  of  the  ap- 
parent coldness  with  which  she  was  at  first  received,  in- 
tending by  that  to  exaggerate  her  success ;  but  she  inter- 
rupted me  by  saying:  "Oh!  you  are  mistaken.  I  think 
they  received  me  grandly!"  So  I  thought  she  was,  at 
best,  but  a  spoiled  child  —  "vox,  et  preterea  nihil" — and 
did  not  think  further  explanation  worth  the  candle. 

Ristori,  the  tragedian,  acted  at  St.  Petersburg.  I  knew 
many  of  the  first  singers,  actors,  and  dancers  of  my  time. 
The  foreigners  are  generally  mechanical,  with  few  excep- 
tions. Ole  Bull  was  but  a  big  boy,  but  natural.  Jenny 
Lind  was  not  only  a  fine  singer,  but  a  fine  woman.  Char- 
lotte Cushman  was  very  intellectual,  but  too  homely  for 
any  use  —  and  then  she  drank  brandy,  when  I  dined  with 
her,  like  a  dragoon.  She  said  the  exhaustion  of  the  stage 
made  it  necessary ;  but  the  fact  remained !  The  American 
women  now  coming  forward  on  the  stage  as  actors  and 
opera-singers  are  bound  to  go  to  the  front,  because,  with 
equal  talent  and  beauty,  they  are  more  natural ;  and  purity 
of  character  is  now  safe  in  such  life.  I  always  enjoyed 
the  society  of  intellectual  women  more  than  that  of  men. 
Margaret  Fuller  pleased  me  much;  though  she  was  quite 
plain  in  face  and  person.  I  think  the  friends  of  Hawthorne 
will  do  well  to  be  silent  about  Margaret;  as  it  may  turn 
out  that  the  Countess  d'Ossoli  will  be  remembered  when 
the  author  of  the  "Scarlet  Letter"  is  forgotten.  Many  of 
the  great  poets  affected  to  laugh  at  the  Scotch  plowman- 
poet.  Burns,  however,  will  live  when  they  are  remem- 
bered no  more. 

I  found  Fanny  Kemble  a  fine  woman  in  person,  as  well 
as  intellect.  I  venture  to  subjoin  a  characteristic  letter, 
not  more  personal,  perhaps,  than  generic  in  woman's  tact. 
I  had  made  her  acquaintance  in  Cincinnati.  I  append,  also, 
a  letter  from  the  Baroness  Louise  Jomini,  the  beautiful 
daughter  of  Baron  Jomini,  preceptor  to  His  Imperial  High- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  347 

ness,  the  Grand  Duke  Heritier,  on  the  reception  of  my 
Albany  speech,  and  which  answers  Fanny  Kemble's  in- 
quiry of  "What  shall  be  done  with  slavery?" 

LETTER   OF   FANNY    KEMBLE. 

Boston,  Sunday,  10,   1850. 

My  Dear  Sir:  —  I  am  flattered  by  your  remembering  me,  and 
sparing  leisure  to  write  to  me.  I  have  received  the  volume  of 
your  Writings,  which  I  shall  peruse  with  all  the  interest  due  to 
such  subject,  treated  by  one  who,  like  yourself,  has  undergone 
martyrdom  for  the  sake  of  what  he  held  the  truth.  I  was  a  lit- 
tle surprised  at  your  caring  to  have  the  likeness  of  an  entire 
stranger;  but,  inasmuch  as  the  daguerrotype  portrait-taker  had 
retained  one  of  my  likenesses,  and  could  therefore  multiply  them 
indefinitely  at  her  pleasure,  I  do  not  think  it  was  much  of  a  favor 
that  you  asked,   or  that  I  granted,   in  that  transaction. 

I  much  incline  to  your  views  of  the  "Rights  of  beggars;" 
and,  as  soon  as  they  are  duly  admitted,  shall  set  about  asking 
favors  to  the  right  and  left.  At  present,  I  do  not  much  deal  in 
requests;  for  I  quite  agree  with  you  that  the  price  of  asking  is  a 
very  heavy  one  to  pay  for  any  thing.  It  is  my  hope  and  purpose 
to  visit  Cincinnati  again  before  I  close  my  public  career  in  this 
country,  which  I  intend  to  do  this  spring.  I  was  charmed  with 
the  place;  and  more  than  satisfied,  believe  me,  with  the  attention 
and  kindness  shown  me  by  the  inhabitants.  I  was  greatly  grieved 
that  my  arrangements  did  not  admit  of  my  remaining  longer  at 
that  time ;  but  look  forward  to  returning,  when  the  beautiful  beech 
woods,  and  the  soft  sward  beneath  them,  shall  have  put  on  their 
first  fresh  suit  of  green.  It  will  give  me  pleasure  to  think  that  I 
may  then  have  some  seasons  of  intercourse  with  you ;  as  you,  I 
am  happy  to  say,  have  not  thought  fit  to  consider  me  as  one  of 
those  "very  superior"  female  creatures  of  whom  men  should  stand 
in  awe.     Pray  believe  me,   my  dear  sir,   your  much  obliged, 

Fanny  Kemble. 

P.  S.  —  Won't  you  please  set  about  devising  how  to  break 
down  the  wall  to  which  you  and  others  have  fairly  driven  the 
Southern  planters?  I  pity  them  as  much  as  I  hate  slavery,  and 
that  is  an  infinite  quantity.  It  does  not  need  statesmen  to  prove 
that  slavery  is  wrong;  but  it  does  need  statesmen  to  suggest  what 
shall  be  done  with  it. 


348  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

LETTER    OF   THE    BARONESS    LOUISE    JOMINI. 

St.  Petersburg,  March  31,  1864. 
Sir: — I  feel  bound  to  acknowledge  your  amiable  attention, 
and  thank  you  for  the  pleasure  I  have  found  in  the  perusal  of 
your  noble  speech.  I  need  not  tell  you  how  I  have  felt  the 
power  of  such  reading  to  kindle  the  latent  enthusiasm  in  every 
human  soul. 

Let  me  assure  you  that  it  shall  ever  be  a  pleasant  remem- 
brance to  have  personally  known  the  author.     Yours,  gratefully, 

Louise  Jomini. 

The  diplomatic  corps  and  the  Russian  officials  are 
compelled  to  spend  the  summer  near  St.  Petersburg,  and 
the  Imperial  Court.  A  wealthy  German  had  a  large 
country-residence  near  the  "Point."  A  portion  of  his 
grounds  were  cut  off,  and  a  .cottage  was  built,  for  rent 
during  the  hot  months.  The  grounds  came  down  to  the 
water's  edge  of  the  Neva  —  here  a  broad  and  clear  stream. 
It  was  taken  by  me ;  and  I  built  a  bath-house,  anchored 
on  the  clear  waters,  with  a  surrounding  platform,  where  I 
spent  much  time  in  fishing.  The  cottage  was  well-fur- 
nished with  flowers  from  a  green-house,  and  my  carriage- 
horses  were  stabled  with  the  landlord.  Northward,  along 
the  river,  was  quite  a  village  of  the  humble  people  of  St. 
Petersburg;  and  a  canal  was  cut  from  the  river  to  the 
bay,  to  secure  the  large  grounds  from  depredation,  and  a 
high  fence  built  all  around  my  separate  grounds ;  but,  at 
the  rear  line,  a  low  fence,  about  five  feet  high  only,  sepa- 
rated the  property,  and  allowed  me  the  view  of  a  large 
park  farther  west.  This  fence  was  made  low,  no  doubt, 
for  two  purposes:  to  allow  a  more  extended  view,  and  also 
allow  the  watch-dogs  of  the  German  to  enter  the  cottage- 
grounds,  to  prevent  marauders  from  getting  a  lodgment 
there  for  further  entrance  into  the  premises  of  the  owner. 

Dogs  have  been  used  as  guards  from  the  earliest 
known  times.  Homer  speaks  of  them  as  being  at  Troy ; 
and  all  remember  the  beautiful  lines  with  which  the  Iliad 
opens,  concluding  with  — 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  349 

"Whose  bones,  unburied  on  the  lonely  shore, 
Devouring  dogs  and  hungry  vultures  tore." 

So   Plutarch    tells  of  how  the   Greeks    used  them   for  the 
protection  of  even  armed  citadels. 

The  German  had  three  dogs  —  a  large  Newfoundland, 
a  mastiff,  and  a  petulant,  watchful  terrier  —  a  most  for- 
midable force.  One  evening,  in  the  dim  twilight,  I  started 
for  the  rear  of  my  grounds,  and  was  looking  over  the  fence 
into  the  park  beyond,  when  suddenly  the  large  Newfound- 
land laid  his  fore-feet  upon  the  top  rail,  and  looked  me  in 
the  face.  He  was  higher,  as  he  stood  on  his  hind-legs, 
than  myself;  and  about  the  largest  dog  I  ever  saw.  He 
had  evidently  scented  me,  and  was  studying  the  situation. 
The  next  moment  I  heard  the  angry  terrier  growl  at  a 
short  distance ;  and  I  knew,  from  my  long  experience  with 
dogs,  that,  as  soon  as  the  terrier  came  up,  the  whole 
trio  would  mount  the  fence,  and  be  upon  me.  I  had  no 
weapon  whatever.  To  stand,  was  death ;  and  to  run 
seemed  a  like  fate.  But  I  made  up  my  mind  to  run  at 
once,  trusting  to  chance  for  further  help.  I  was  about  one 
hundred  yards  from  the  cottage ;  but  had  little  hope  of 
reaching  it.  About  half  way,  in  a  lilac-hedge,  I  saw  a 
dead  stake,  and  broke  it  with  a  giant's  effort.  It  cracked 
like  a  pistol.  The  dogs  were  nearly  upon  me,  when, 
swinging  my  club,  with  a  wild  scream  I  advanced  upon 
them  like  lightning.  It  was  too  much  for  their  courage. 
They  fled ;  not  yet  having  fully  determined  who  I  was,  or 
what  ought  to  be  done.  In  a  moment  more  I  was  in  my 
cottage,  pistol  in  hand ;  but  I  was  safe.  I  saw  the  dogs 
no  more.  And  no  more  at  twilight  hour  did  I  look  upon 
the  park  of  the  canny  Dutchman ;  nor  listen  to  the  syren 
voices  of  the  beautiful  women  of  his  household ! 

The  Russian  guards,  of  various  arms,  about  St.  Peters- 
burg, are  generally  about  fifty  thousand  men.  These  en- 
camp, in  the  summer,  on  the  high  grounds  of  the  Neva, 
1  etween  St.  Petersburg  and  Peterhoff,  where  there  is  quite 
a  village  (Roptcha  and  Krasnoe  Selo)  ;  and  the  ballet  and 


350  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

the  musical  band  accompany  them.  They  have  also  a 
race-track,  and  other  means  of  amusement,  such  as  gath- 
erings in  the  grove,  with  a  platform  for  dancing  at  night, 
when  thousands  of  lamps  are  hung  to  the  limbs  of  the 
trees ;  thus  producing  a  very  picturesque  effect. 

One  night  the  Emperor  was  present  at  the  dance, 
where  but  little  ceremony  is  observed,  and  all  were  gay. 
The  Emperor  had  been  dancing,  and  was  standing  in  the 
crowd  looking  on,  when  an  immense  number  of  couples 
were,  in  an  old-fashion  cotillion,  "swinging  corners."  The 
dance  was  animated,  the  twilight-lamps  not  giving  much 
distinctness  to  persons.  The  Princess  Dolgorouki  was 
dancing.  I  knew  her  well ;  and,  as  she  turned  to  swing, 
in  passing  around,  she  was  at  a  loss  to  know  at  once 
who  was  her  partner.  So  I,  who  was  not  in  the  dance 
at  all,  turned  her,  and  stepped  back  again.  No  one  but 
the  Emperor  observing  it,  he  said  to  me :  "  Were  you 
dancing?"  I  said:  "No;  but  the  young  lady  seemed  to 
be  bewildered,  and  I  came  to  her  relief."  The  Emperor 
was  delighted  with  my  gallantry ;  and  made  some  pleasant 
rejoinder.  So,  after  all,  I  thought  Prince  and  Peasant  are 
ever  near  together  —  the  same  humanity. 

The  first  families  of  Russia  are  honored  in  having-  their 
daughters  enrolled  among  the  "dames  d '  honneur" —  ladies 
of  honor  —  who  compose  the  suite  of  the  Empress,  and  live 
in  the  palace,  as  part  of  the  family.  Among  the  most 
noted  of  these,  for  her  rank  and  accomplishments,  was  the 
Princess  to  whom  I  have  above  alluded.  It  is  true  that 
some  proud  old  nobles  refuse  this  honor ;  but  they  gener- 
ally live  retired  on  their  estates,  and  care  little  for  the  gay- 
eties  or  honors  of  the  court.  I  thought  my  first  duty  in 
Russia  was  to  keep  the  Czar,  if  possible,  on  the  Union 
side ;  and,  therefore,  my  business  was  to  please.  I  was  in- 
troduced to  the  Princess ;  and  she  invited  me  to  call  and 
see  her  the  next  Sunday,  naming  the  hour,  at  the  Winter- 
Palace.  Feeling  honored,  I  said  I  would  call  on  her.  So, 
at  the   hour   named,   I    entered,  in   full   uniform ;  the  grand 


CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  35  I 

staircase,  near  the  Hermitage,  being  the  usual  place  for 
guests.  The  Winter-Palace  extends,  with  the  Hermitage 
and  some  other  buildings  used  by  the  suite  at  court,  two- 
thirds  of  a  mile  along  the  Neva.  The  entrance  here  was 
a  long  distance  from  the  left  extremity  of  the  palace,  where 
I  discovered  that  the  Princess  had  her  suite  of  rooms.  A 
half  dozen  liveried  servants,  in  imperial  dress,  were  in  wait- 
ing, and  took  my  over-shoes,  etc. ;  whilst  the  card-bearer, 
or  fourrier — a  sort  of  avant- courier  on  all  such  occa- 
sions—  with  elaborate  dress,  and  immense  ostrich-feathers 
in  his  head-dress,  took  my  open  "carte  de  visile."  He 
was  gone  a  long  time ;  but  at  length  returned,  and  asked 
me  to  follow  him.  So,  leaving  my  chasseur  with  the  serv- 
ants below,  I  followed.  I  was  wearing  my  large  gift-sword. 
The  Russians,  on  most  occasions,  take  pride  in  conducting 
one  through  many  apartments,  whose  use  seems  to  be  only 
display,  to  see  the  owner ;  and,  of  course,  the  palace  was 
but  an  exaggeration  of  these  rooms  and  custom.  So  it 
seemed  to  me  that  I  passed  over  acres  of  apartments.  We 
passed  several  squads  of  guards  in  full  uniform  who,  as  I 
wore  military  dress,  always  saluted  me  as  I  passed,  by  pre- 
senting arms,  and  then  bringing  their  muskets,  after  I  had 
passed,  to  the  floor  with  a  crack  of  exactest  precision.  I 
began  to  reflect,  was  I  right  in  accepting  her  invitation? 
Might  it  not  be  a  woman's  freak,  which  she  might  hazard, 
but  which  would  be  disastrous  to  me,  if  I  was  violating 
etiquette,  of  which  I  was  entirely  ignorant?  Might  not  all 
I  had  gained  with  the  Emperor  be  more  than  lost  by  my 
ill-timed  visit,  which  might  almost  be  termed  an-  adventure  ? 
At  all  events  my  sword,  which  was  heavy  at  first,  seemed 
to  increase  in  weight !  At  last  I  arrived  at  the  Princess's 
rooms,  was  ushered  in  by  a  servant,  and  received  by  her 
with  quiet  grace. 

She  was  already  holding  quite  a  Sunday-levee :  the 
Count  de  Moira,  Minister  of  Portugal,  who  had  married 
her  aunt,  being  one ;  and  other  acquaintances  intimate 
with   the   family.       It   was   certainly  a   relief  to   me,  that   I 


352  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

was  not  alone,  for  the  first  time  in  my  life,  with  a  charm- 
ing woman !  But  I  never  paid  any  more  visits  to  the 
maids  of  honor !  The  Princess  finally  married  one  of  the 
Emperor's  staff;  and  he  was  made  Viceroy  of  one  of  the 
governments  of  this  large  Empire. 

I  was  also  acquainted  with  the  Princess  Marie  Dolgo- 
rouki,  and  her  younger  sister,  who  were  noted  beauties  at 
St.  Petersburg ;  and  the  elder  of  whom  I  had  the  honor 
of  entertaining,  with  other  distinguished  Russians,  at  a 
ball  at  my  house. 

Whilst  I  made  it  a  rule  to  see  and  to  study  every 
rank  in  Russian  society,  I  took  pains  to  associate  with 
the  most  reputable,  at  least  with  the  most  agreeable,  of 
that  class.  Among  these  I  remember  the  Dolgorouki 
family,  male  and  female.  The  Prince  Vladimir  Dolgo- 
rouki, Governor-General  of  Moscow,  was  one  of  the  most 
finished  gentlemen  I  ever  met  in  any  country.  He  exer- 
cised royal  powers  in  that  province  and  city ;  and  knew 
well  how  to  make  himself  agreeable  and  respected.  He, 
as  well  as  many  of  his  family,  were  much  my  friends.  I 
was  often  with  the  Davidoffs,  the  Apraxines,  the  Kou- 
cheleffs,  the  Count  Stroganoff — the  brother-in-law  of  the 
Emperor,  who  had  made  the  morganatic  marriage  with 
the  Grand  Duchess  Mary  —  and  others.  He  was  the 
finest-looking  man  in  Russia ;  and  was,  together  with 
Counts  Apraxine  and  KouchelefT,  fond  of  having  a  "good 
time"  —  when  we  would  "not  go  home  till  morning." 
Count  Orloff  Davidoff  was  also  of  fine  personal  pres- 
ence —  of  the  oldest  families  of  Russia  —  always  digni- 
fied ;  and  for  a  long  time  Master  of  Ceremonies  —  a  very 
confidential  office  in  Russia. 

One  night,  at  a  grand  ball  at  Davidoff's,  who  had  a 
magnificent  house,  and  one  of  the  finest  galleries  of  paint- 
ings in  St.  Petersburg,  I  was  standing  near  the  Count, 
when  I  was  attracted  by  the  appearance  of  a  woman  of 
great  beauty;  and  I  said  to  the  host:  "Please  tell  me 
who  is  that  fine  woman?"  —  pointing  to  her  unmistakably. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  353 

"That,"  said  he,  "is  my  daughter,  the  Princess  Wassil- 
chicoff,  of  Moscow."  "Well,"  said  I,  "Count,  I  beg  your 
pardon,  but  I  am  a  Kentuckian ;  and,  although  I  did 
not  suspect  that  she  was  one  of  your  family,  I  will  not 
retract  a  word  I  have  said."  The  Count  was  much 
pleased ;  and  afterward  I  asked  the  photographs  of  the 
Prince  and  Princess,  which  were  given  on  one  card,  as 
is  the  custom.  But  I  found  myself  on  the  best  of  terms 
with  all  the  Davidoff-family  during  my  whole  residence  in 
Russia.     Such  is  the  force  of  saying  pleasant  things. 

A  similar  story  is  told  of  Lord  North,  of  our  Revolu- 
tionary times,  who  had  a  very  plain-looking  family.  "Who 
is  that  ugly  woman  there?"  said  a  courtier  to  his  lord- 
ship. "That  is  my  wife!"  "Oh!  not  she,"  said  the  court- 
ier, "but  the  horrid  woman  next  to  her?"  "That,"  re- 
plied Lord  North,  "is  my  daughter!"  I  suppose,  for  his- 
tory is  silent,  that  he  hardly  got  any  office  under  North's 
administration. 

A  cousin  of  mine,  who  was  a  very  plain  woman,  but 
very  good,  was  at  a  ball,  when  a  friend  was  asked:   "Who 

is   that  ugly  woman?"      That   is   Miss  .      Has   not  a 

woman  the  right  to  look  ugly?"  "Of  course,"  said  the 
other,  "I  grant  you;  but  does  she  not  a  little  abuse  the 
privilege?  " 

The  clubs  of  Russia  embrace  every  class  of  society, 
from  the  highest  nobles  to  the  burgeois  and  operatives. 
I  was,  I  believe,  an  honorary  member  of  every  club  in 
St.  Petersburg,  as  well  as  the  Naval  Club,  at  Cronstadt. 
Being  alone  in  my  home,  Mrs.  Clay  having,  on  account 
of  bad  health,  returned  to  America  in  1862,  I  spent  much 
time  in  these  clubs,  going  from  one  to  another  often  in 
the  same  night;  where  I  could  see  almost  the  whole  of 
Russian  society,   except   the  ladies  of  the  highest  nobility. 

And  one  of  these,  Princess  ,  with  her  lady  companion, 

at  a  masked  ball  at  Club,  I   introduced,  as  this  was 

my    right,    and    they    seemed    to    enjoy    the    novelty.      Of 
course,    she   was    known    to    no   one    but    myself.       These 
Vol.  I. — 23 


354  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

clubs  have  rooms  in  the  city  in  winter,  and  country-seats 
in  the  suburbs  in  the  summer,  where  dancing,  cards,  and 
music,  and  eating  and  drinking  are  indulged ;  both  sexes 
meeting  at  all.  Two  of  these  clubs  entertained  Captain 
Fox  and  officers  whilst  in  St.   Petersburg. 

At  the  Moscow  Club  and  Zoological  Institution,  of 
which  I  was  an  honorary  member,  I  and  Captain  Fox 
planted  trees  in  memory  of  the  event.  At  Cronstadt, 
where  a  dinner  was  given  us,  being  also  an  honorary 
member,  to  a  toast  I  made  a  speech  in  which  it  was 
thought  that  I  uttered  sentiments  too  liberal  for  an  autoc- 
racy. I  was  so  told  by  the  chief  of  the  secret  police  in 
a  friendly  way.  So,  when  Admiral  Farragut,  with  his 
officers,  were  entertained  at  Prince  Gallitzin's  dinner, 
toasts  were  given,  but  no  speeches.  And,  in  the  English 
Club,  after  the  freedom  in  which  Captain  Murray  and 
others  indulged  on  Fox's  visit,  no  more  speaking  was 
allowed  afterward  ;  though,  at  that  time,  Gortchacow  him- 
self made  a  short  and  pertinent  speech,  as  well  as  my- 
self and  others.  To  one  of  the  clubs  to  which  I  be- 
longed I  gave  an  elegant  painting ;  and,  in  turn,  by  per- 
mission of  the  authorities,  the  United  States  flag  was  al- 
lowed to  be  perpetually  unfurled  —  an  unusual  permit. 

The  city  of  St.  Petersburg,  the  present  Capital  of  the 
Russian  Empire,  was  founded  by  Peter  the  Great,  the 
most  distinguished  of  the  Czars.  His  genius  taught  him 
that  to  cope  with  modern  Europe  he  must  use  modern 
methods,  and  reduce  his  semi-barbarous  subjects  to  civili- 
zation. He  not  only  introduced  foreigners  of  letters  and 
art,  but  in  the  absence  of  railroads  he  sougnt  such  inter- 
course as  could  come  only  of  a  war  and  mercantile  navy. 
The  outlet  to  the  great  oceans  through  the  Dardanelles 
was  blocked  by  the  rival  nations ;  hence  he  looked  to  the 
Neva,  the  Gulf  of  Finland,  and  the  Baltic  Sea,  as  a  nur- 
sery of  future  naval  prowess. 

The  Neva  flows  from  the  great  lake  Ladoga  and  its 
tributaries.     A  large  portion  of  this  vast  system  of  swamps, 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS  CLAY.  355 

rivulets,  and  lakes  comprised  ancient  Ingria,  which  Peter 
had  wrested  successfully  from  Sweden  by  arms.  Upon 
this  river,  about  twenty  miles  from  its  union  with  the  bay 
at  Cronstadt,  Peter  began  the  present  city  in  1703.  Both 
sides  being  flat  and  swampy,  piles  were  driven  for  the 
foundations,  and  canals  were  cut  every-where  for  naviga- 
tion and  water  for  domestic  purposes.  The  city,  with  the 
exception  of  some  of  the  churches,  which  affect  the  ori- 
ental style,  is  comparatively  modern  —  made  of  burnt  brick 
and  stuccoed,  with  a  few  granite  and  hard-burnt  brick  edi- 
fices. It  now  has  about  800,000  inhabitants,  with  parks, 
open  plazas  for  the  troops,  wide  and  well-paved  streets, 
and  is  no  doubt  the  finest  city  of  the  world. 

The  Neva,  after  entering  the  city,  branches  into  the 
Little  Neva  and  the  Nevka,  the  former  running  on  west, 
and  the  latter  flowing  at  nearly  right  angles  to  it,  thus 
giving  the  eye  a  long  stretch  over  the  waters.  A  large 
portion  of  the  banks  on  both  sides  are  walled  up  even 
with  the  descending  plains  with  red  granite ;  and,  as  the 
rise  and  fall  of  the  stream  is  very  little  on  the  unwalled 
banks,  the  vegetation  grows  to  the  very  waters.  Thus  we 
have  one  of  the  finest  river  views  any  where  to  be  seen. 
At  this  point,  where  the  divided  waters  form  an  island, 
and  where  the  old  Neva  widens  also  into  grand  propor- 
tions, on  the  south  bank  stands  the  Winter- Palace  of  the 
Czar  of  all  the  Russias.  All  along  the  southern  bank,  on 
both  sides  of  the  Imperial  residence,  are  built  the  houses 
of  the  most  notable  and  wealthy  of  the  titled  aristocracy. 
And  on  the  opposite  mainland  and  island  shores  are  a 
mass  of  public  and  private  buildings,  parks,  trees,  shrub- 
bery, and  flowers.  The  palace  is  eighty  feet  high,  and 
four  stories  in  elevation ;  together  with  the  Hermitage,  the 
whole  river  front  is  970  feet,  by  about  350  in  depth.  The 
principal  front  entrance  is  on  the  Neva,  leading  up  a 
splendid  marble  stairway;  but  the  most  imposing  is  on 
the  south  side  of  the  Hermitage.  This  is  a  porch,  or  ves- 
tibule, of  great  pretensions,   being  supported  by  ten  male 


356  MEMOIRS,   WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

figures  twenty-two  feet  high,  with  their  pedestals  of  gray 
granite,  instead  of  the  usual  caryatides.  In  the  many  gal- 
leries of  the  Hermitage  are  about  4,000  paintings,  with  all 
the  usual  accompaniments,  statues,  pottery,  medals,  vases, 
jewelry,  and  all  that;  the  great  diamond,  the  Orloff,  being 
one  of  them,  is  said  to  be  the  largest  and  most  valuable 
one  known. 

The  Princess  Dagmar  (Marie -Sophie- Fred -Dagmar,) 
was  born  November  26,  1853,  being  the  fourth  child  of 
Christian,  King  of  Denmark.  She  was  at  first  affianced 
to  Nicholas  Alexandrowitz,  Czarowitz ;  but,  he  dying  be- 
fore the  union,  she  was  affianced  to  Alexander  Alexandro- 
witz, the  next  heir  to  the  throne,  now  Alexander  III.  Of 
course,  the  wedding  was  much  talked  of,  and  great  prepa- 
rations were  made.  The  troops  in  and  about  St.  Peters- 
burg were  massed,  and  about  fifty  thousand  of  all  arms 
were  afterward  reviewed.  The  most  distinguished  guests 
were  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia,  Frederick  William ;  the 
Prince  of  Wales,  of  Great  Britain ;  and  Prince  George,  of 
Denmark,  brother  of  the  bride,  and  afterward  succeeding 
Otto  as  King  of  Greece.  Subsequently  he  married  the 
Grand  Duchess  Olga  Constantinowa,  said  to  be  the  most 
beautiful  woman  in  all  the  royal  families  of  Europe ;  her 
mother,  Alexandra,  wife  of  Grand  Duke  Constantine,  of 
the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden,  having  been  also  a  cele- 
brated beauty.  Our  Minister  to  Greece  was  so  lavish 
of  her  praises  that  our  roundhead  Congress,  I  believe, 
abolished  the  mission.  Had  they  seen  Olga  themselves, 
I  do  not  think  that  even  they  would  have  done  so  fool- 
ish a  thing. 

There  were  present,  also,  the  Embassadors  of  Eng- 
land, France,  and  Spain ;  the  Ministers  Plenipotentiary 
from  the  other  first  powers,  and  some  representatives  of 
the  barbarous  nations  of  Asia.  There  were  other  distin- 
guished guests,  besides  the  nobles  of  Russia.  Only  to 
the  "kings  that  were  to  be"  was  the  diplomatic  corps 
presented. 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY 


357 


The  ceremony  took  place  in  one  of  the  elegant  halls 
of  the  Winter  Palace;  the  princes  entering  one  by  one 
into  the  room  where  the  diplomates  were  arranged  in 
line,  according  to  rank  and  seniority  —  Prince  Gortchacow 
officiating.  I  do  not  now  remember  what  was  said  to  me, 
so  long  time  ago;  but  I  have  yet  vivid  impressions  of  the 
princes.  Frederick,  of  Germany,  was  first  introduced,  I 
suppose  on  account  of  being  the  heir-apparent  to  the 
Empire  —  Disraeli  not  having  then  added  the  title  of  Em- 
press of  India  to  the  British  Crown.  He  was  over  six 
feet  high,  slight  in  figure  for  a  German ;  but  firm,  healthy, 
and  dignified  in  his  personal  pose  and  bearing.  He 
seemed  to  be  a  man  of  affairs,  who  had  a  great  work 
to  do,  and  was  prepared  for  the  effort.  The  Prince  of 
Wales  was  shorter,  stouter,  and  of  full  Anglo-Germanic 
build.  They  were  both  blonds.  The  Prince  had,  no 
doubt,  often  read  Shakspeare's  "Prince  Hal,"  and  stud- 
ied the  character.  He  looked  to  be  a  man  who  took 
the  world  easily  —  shrewd,  but  yet  full  of  bonhomie,  or, 
rather,  good-fellowship.  He  had  been  in  America;  and 
I  imagined  that,  when  he  saw  me,  many  scenes  of  our 
naive  and  original  life  passed  across  his  memory.  Prince 
George  was  the  smallest  of  the  three,  of  dark  complex- 
ion, with  a  pleasant  face,  and  intellectual  head.  The 
Prince  of  Wales  was  the  only  one  who  made  any  very 
marked  impression  on  the  Russians.  For  a  long  time 
his  name  was  in  the  mouths  of  the  young  nobles  and  the 
army  officers  of  St.  Petersburg;  and  "Prince  Hal"  was  a 
standing  toast. 

In  Russia  the  whole  people  are  divided  into  classes : 
first,  the  imperial  class,  then  the  nobility,  then  the  army, 
then,  I  believe,  the  petite-noblesse,  then  the  mercantile 
guilds,  etc.  State  and  imperial  balls  are  given  each  year, 
to  which  all  these  have  the  entree,  when  thousands  are 
suppered,  but  few  of  them  dance ;  and,  I  suppose,  eti- 
quette governs  here  in  this  as  elsewhere. 

The   number  admitted    to    the    marriage    ceremony  was 


358  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

few,  and  only  the  highest  classes  invited.  The  Metro- 
politan of  St.  Petersburg,  assisted  by  the  higher  clergy, 
officiated ;  and,  after  the  Russian  Church  service  had  tied 
the  irrevocable  knot,  the  Lutheran  Church  of  Denmark,  in 
another  apartment,  repeated  the  ceremonial,  so  as  to  sat- 
isfy the  consciences  of  all  parties.  The  Princess  Dag- 
mar,  who  is  beautiful,  of  rather  petite,  but  full,  person, 
with  large,  dark  eyes  and  profuse  black  hair,  always 
amiable  and  affable  as  an  American  girl,  seemed  very  con- 
tented and  happy.  Her  husband  (the  present  Czar,)  was 
serious  and  earnest,  as  he  always  was,  and  seemed  to  be 
very  much  in  love,  as  he  had  a  right  to  be.  She  was 
worthy  of  all  his  affection ;  and  it  has  been  said,  I  doubt 
not,  with  truth,  that,  autocrat  as  he  is,  he  has  always 
been  true  to  his  marriage  vows.  This  he  owed,  no  doubt, 
to  his  mother,  a  woman  of  rare  virtues,  whose  whole  life, 
more  than  any  one  I  ever  knew,  seemed  to  have  but  one 
mission  —  to  live  for  her  family  and  her  people,  and  not 
for  herself.  She  had  been  beautiful  in  youth,  was  deli- 
cate in  health ;  but  the  mental  and  spiritual  more  than 
compensated  for  the  charms  of  earlier  days. 

Passing  over  the  grand  ball,  to  which  every  body  had 
the  enfree,  there  was  a  select  party  in  the  "  White  Hall," 
a  very  noted  room  for  its  graceful  colonnade,  proportions, 
and  unique  arrangements,  including  an  actual  garden  over 
the  third  story,  with  trees,  shrubs,  and  walks,  suitably  set 
with  flowers. 

This  favorite  hall,  entirely  white  in  all  its  accom- 
paniments, is  lighted,  as  all  Russian  houses  of  wealth  are, 
with  candles,  without  oil  or  gas ;  so  that  the  air  is  al- 
ways pure,  and  more  brilliancy  is  nowhere  seen.  When 
we  consider  the  noble  figure  and  bearing  of  the  Imperial 
family;  the  Russian  women  —  not  so  much  inclined  to 
embonpoint  as  the  English,  but  more  so  than  the  French, 
with  more  color  and  weight  than  even  the  Americans, 
their  taste  and  independence  in  dress,  their  unequaled 
grace  in  movement  and   in   repose,  their  profusion  of  pre- 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  359 

cious  stones  inherited  from  even  extinct  dynasties ;  the 
richness  and  variety  of  the  inherited  dress  of  many  princes 
and  nobles,  no  two  of  them  perhaps  alike,  where  the  bar- 
barous "black  and  claw-hammer"  of  Western  Europe  is 
never  seen ;  they,  too,  decked  out  with  all  the  jeweled  in- 
signia of  their  orders ;  the  select  music  from  all  Europe ; 
the  national  dance  —  the  mazurka  (from  which  the  Ger- 
man is  derived  in  the  West,)  —  where  men  and  women  in 
great  troops,  with  flying  hair  and  ribbons  streaming  like 
battle-flags,  sweep  down  the  wide  halls  with  an  abandon 
unknown  elsewhere  in  polished  ranks, —  truly  it  is  a  scene 
to  remind  one  of  the  imaginings  of  dreams. 

In  the  far  West,  on  the  bloom-covered  prairies,  I  have 
seen  thousands  of  wild  horses,  male  and  female,  come 
rushing  past  with  fiery  eyes  and  distended  nostrils,  and 
long  manes  and  tails  streaming  in  the  wind  —  an  odor  of 
crushed  flowers  exhales  from  their  feet,  and  the  earth 
trembles  under  their  tread !  —  thus  they  went  to  the 
private  theater  in  the  palace.  Here  the  best  singers  of 
Europe  congregate. 

In  the  great  gallery  of  the  Italian  school,  flanked  by 
the  halls  of  the  Flemish  and  Spanish  painters,  where  were 
gathered  the  greatest  works  of  these  greatest  artists  of 
all  time,  were  set  the  supper-tables  in  two  rows.  The 
Imperial  Conservatory,  if  I  remember  aright,  is  near  three- 
fourths  of  a  mile  in  length,  containing  all  the  flowers  of 
all  the  climes  and  all  the  continents  —  from  the  hyacinth 
of  a  few  inches  in  height  to  the  palm  of  the  torrid  zone, 
lifting  its  graceful  trunk  fifty  feet  in  the  air,  with  its  long, 
feathery  foliage  drooping  with  the  waving  lines  of  the  wil- 
low. The  choicest  of  these  plants,  with  fruit  and  bloom 
and  scented  leaf,  were  moved  in  great  tubs,  and  set  upon 
the  floors  of  the  palace ;  around  each  the  round  tables 
were  placed,  and  the  cloths  deftly  laid.  The  galleries, 
lighted  by  immense  sky-lights  by  day,  were  now  in  a 
blaze  with  candles  ingeniously  shaded  so  as  to  imitate  the 
stars  of  heaven,   so  that  the  paintings  of  the  gallery  were 


360  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

distinctly  shown.      Thus  culminated   all   the  treasures   and 
all  the  pomp  of  a  great  Empire. 

The  summer  nights  of  Russia  are  the  wonder  of  all 
who  have  been  so  fortunate  as  to  witness  them.  They 
are  but  an  extended  twilight,  where  print  can  be  read  all 
the  time  by  the  light  of  the  stars  and  the  refracted  rays 
of  the  sun,  ill-concealed  beneath  the  near  horizon.  At 
such  times,  on  the  beautiful  waters  of  the  clear  and 
placid  Neva,  light  and  listless  boats  are  filled  with  those 
who  are  given  to  poetry  and  romance  —  where  words  of 
love  are  breathed  in  softened  tones  into  willing  ears.  As 
the  wierd  strains  of  the  music  died  away  in  the  distant 
theater  we  entered  these  halls,  where  all  that  was  possi- 
ble in  highest  achievement  in  nature  and  in  art  were  ag- 
gregated. It  seemed  not  so  much  that  we  were  about  to 
renew  the  fabled  banquet  of  the  Babylonian  king,  as  that 
we  were  borne  by  some  magic  power  into  the  intensified 
poetry  and  beauty  of  a  Russian  summer  night.  Let  our 
memories  and  our  imaginations  cease  with  the  strains  of 
the  distant  music,  the  exhalation  of  flowers,  and  the  wan- 
ing tints  of  paintings  and  stars ;  for  the  past  returns  no 
more  forever! 


CHAPTER  XIX. 


Russia. — Popular  Pastimes.— Ice  Mountains. — Pretty  poor  French  for  Busi- 
ness purposes. —  The  Perkins-Claim  Swindle. —  Seward  telegraphs  me  to 
press  it.  —  Prince  Gortchacow's  Decision.  —  M.  de  Catacazy's  letter  to 
Chief  Justice  Chase. —  Catacazy's  Defense.  —  Seward  requests  me  to  re- 
sign.—  I  do  so  conditionally. — The  Senate  refuses  to  appoint  my  suc- 
cessor.—  Final  defeat  of  Seward. — Perkins-Claim  Swindle  revived  by 
Bancroft  Davis,  under  auspices  of  the  Immortal  Fish. — Captain  G.  B. 
Fox  and  his  Mission. — John  Van  Buren.  —  Prince  Gortchacow  enter- 
tains the  Diplomatic  Corps. — Admiral  Farragut. — Count  Bergh  and 
Prince  Suwarrow. —  Count  Mouravieff  Amousky.  —  Public  Dinner  given 
me  at  Moscow. — I  make  a  Tariff  speech. — City  of  Moscow. — William  L. 
Winans. — The  Orloff  breed  of  Horses. 


THE  cold  in  Russia,  in  consequence  of  the  dryness 
of  the  air,  is  not  disagreeable,  when  one  is  suitably 
clothed  in  furs,  or  other  warm  skins.  Hence,  sleigh- 
riding  is  very  common  with  the  wealthier  classes.  Suit- 
able sleighs  are  used  for  one,  two,  or  more ;  the  troika 
uses  three  horses,  the  center  one  trots  fast,  and  the  other 
two  are  taught  a  gallop,  so  as  to  make  quite  a  pictur- 
esque turn-out.  In  these  last  many  are  crowded ;  and, 
as  the  "girls  and  boys"  have  to  sit  close  together,  under 
the  bear  or  fox-skin  lap-rugs,  this  is  quite  a  favorite  amuse- 
ment for  the  young. 

Ice  mountains  are  made  by  a  frame-work  platform  and 
staircase.  From  the  platform,  about  forty  feet  high,  a 
chute  is  built  of  wood,  also  in  a  descending  line  to  the 
ground,  say  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  yards  long ;  and  on 
the  bottoms  and  sides  are  placed  cakes  of  ice.  The  ice- 
sleds  are  then  occupied  by  one  or  two ;  and  away  they  go 
like  a  shot.  As  this  sport  is  somewhat  dangerous,  at  least 
in  appearance,  the  gentle  sex  is  held  excusable  in  holding 
on  to  her  more  self-possessed  companion. 

361 


362  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

Skating,  in  latter  times,  has  also  become  a  popular 
amusement  in  St.  Petersburg;  where  large  tents,  with 
stoves  and  refreshments,  are  prepared  on  the  Neva,  and 
the  ice  artificially  kept  smooth  in  open  areas.  Dancing 
and  music  are  kept  up  by  some  classes,  winter  and  sum- 
mer, in  and  near  St.  Petersburg.  The  nobility,  whose 
duties  keep  them  in,  or  the  neighborhood  of,  St.  Peters- 
burg, assemble  each  afternoon  at  the  "  Point,"  which  looks 
out  toward  Cronstadt,  in  the  imperial  grounds  of  Yela- 
gin  Island ;  where  fine  horses  and  carriages  are  shown, 
and  salutations  made  between  acquaintances,  as  at  the 
Alameda  in  Mexico.  There  are  fine  walks  here,  seats, 
and  a  band  of  music ;  and,  in  summer,  it  is  one  of  the 
most  pleasant  places  in  Russia,  and  is  much  frequented 
by  the  nobility  and  all  well-dressed  people. 

The  "Point"  is  a  cape,  where  two  branches  of  the 
Neva  unite  and  widen  out  into  a  broad  view  toward  the 
bay  of  Cronstadt.  The  grounds  are  well-ornamented  with 
walks  and  fine  trees  ;  and  the  shades  are  very  agreeable 
all  the  summer  round. 

Many  of  the  clubs  have  their  houses  and  grounds  in 
the  suburbs  of  St.  Petersburg ;  and  refreshments  and 
music  and  dancing  are  kept  up  all  the  warm  season. 

Notwithstanding  my  father  had  taken  so  much  trouble 
and  expense  to  have  me  taught  French,  saying  to  me  I 
might  some  day  have  use  for  it  abroad,  by  the  time  I 
had  such  use  for  it,  I  had  almost  entirely  forgotten  it. 
So,  as  I  had  but  short  and  unimportant  correspondence 
with  Gortchacow,  I  wrote  in  French,  trusting,  for  its  cor- 
rectness, to  my  attacJie,  Mr.  Williams,  whom  I  took  from 
the  New  York  Evening  Post  establishment  to  accompany 
me,  and  teach  my  younger  children,  as  well  as  myself, 
French.  He  revised  all  my  letters.  But,  when  I  came  back 
to  the  United  States,  I  learned  that  Mr.  Sumner  had  been 
reporting  that  Gortchacow  said  he  understood  my  English 
better  than  my  French. 

Thus   a  continual    espionage   was    kept    up ;   and   every 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  ^6^ 

incident  turned  to  my  disadvantage.  The  worst  part  of  it, 
however,  was  its  truth.  Gortchacow  understood  English 
perfectly,  and  spoke  it  as  well  as  I  did.  So,  when  I  re- 
turned to  St.  Petersburg,  I  dropped  the  French,  and  wrote 
afterward  in  English  only.  As  I  improved  in  the  lan- 
guage, I  observed  grave  errors  in  my  correspondence ;  and 
was  very  sorry  that  I  trusted  in  my  friend  Williams's 
French  scholarship.  So  there  were  many  calumnies  whis- 
pered about  my  business  operations  in  Russia,  which, 
never  having  been  put  into  writing  or  print,  I  never 
thought  worthy  of  notice. 

I,  who  had  spent  a  large  fortune  in  the  Republican 
cause,  and  being  at  one  time  more  than  sixty  thousand 
dollars  in  debt,  and  who  had  paid  every  dollar  of  this 
indebtedness,  principal  and  interest,  did  not,  and  do  not 
now,  think  that  any  dishonesty  could  ever,  living  or  dying, 
attach  to  my  name.  And  I  only  now  say  that  no  man, 
living  or  dead,  has  ever,  to  my  knowledge,  at  any  time, 
accused  me  of  dishonesty  in  business ;  and  if  they  have 
so  done,  or  shall  do  so  hereafter,  I  say  that  all  such  accu- 
sations are  as  false  as  those  other  calumnies  which  I  have 
so  signally  disproved. 

But  I  have  blows  to  give  as  well  as  to  receive ;  and 
am  very  well  content  with  the  issue.  During  the  Crimean 
War  it  was  understood  in  America  that  Russia  wanted 
especially  powder,  and,  perhaps,  arms ;  and  would  pay  well 
for  them  if  delivered  there,  which  could  only  be  done,  of 
course,  by  running  the  blockade  by  sea.  One  Captain 
Benj.  Perkins,  of  New  England,  put  up  some  powder  and 
arms  in  a  vessel,  on  the  pretense  that  he  had  a  contract 
with  the  Russian  Minister  at  Washington,  Mr.  Stoekl,  for 
the  delivery  of  the  same.  The  sum  claimed  (after  the 
war  had  ceased,  and  the  goods  no  longer  wanted,)  for 
damages  was,  if  I  remember  aright,  quite  small  —  not 
over  fifty  thousand  dollars ;  for  no  powder  or  arms  had 
been  delivered. 

Perkins,   suing    Lilienfeldt,    the    Russian    arms-agent    in 


364  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

America,  could  produce  no  proof,  and  was  glad  to  com- 
promise the  matter  in  the  New  York  courts  by  receiving 
two  hundred  dollars.  This,  of  course,  settled  the  matter' 
forever.  But,  as  Perkins  pretended  that  he  had  gone  to 
much  expense  in  getting  up  the  cargo  (which  was  never 
proved),  he  induced  the  Secretary  of  State,  Lewis  Cass, 
to  write  to  our  minister  at  St.  Petersburg  to  lay  the  case 
before  the  Russian  Government — "  not  as  a  claim"  at 
all,  but  as  a  possible  ground  for  a  gratuity ;  as  Perkins 
was  insolvent.     Of  course,  it  all  came  to  nothing. 

In  the  meantime  Perkins  died,  and  his  widow  gave  or 
sold  her  claim  to  Joseph  B.  Stewart  of  Washington  City, 
who  formed,  as  Catacazy,  the  Russian  Minister,  asserts,  a 
joint-stock  company,  with  a  capital  of  $800,000.  But  a 
very  different  Secretary  of  State  from  Lewis  Cass  had 
been  put  at  the  head  of  the  Cabinet  of  Mr.  Lincoln  —  a 
man  educated  in  the  corrupt  Albany-school  of  politics ; 
and  who,  for  the  first  time,  imported  that  execrable  sys- 
tem into  Washington ;  and  which  infested  the  whole  Re- 
publican Party  with  the  virus  of  dishonor  and  death !  — 
that  man  was  Wm.   H.  Seward. 

The  Perkins'  swindle  was  thereupon  revamped  and  en- 
larged, as  was  the  custom  in  Washington,  till  it  was  strong 
enough  to  carry  finally  the  venal  Ames  party  in  its  favor; 
and  Seward  stood  god-father  to  the  new-born  monster. 
For  the  first  time  it  was  then  urged  as  a  legitimate  claim, 
based  on  contract,  and  so  presented  anew  to  the  Russian 
Government. 

I  knew  nothing  about  the  matter;  and  when  I  was  at 
St.  Petersburg  ordered,  by  Secretary  Seward,  to  present 
it  to  Gortchacow,  I  read  it  carefully,  and,  finding  it,  by 
his  own  best  showing,  to  be  a  swindle,  made  out  of  whole 
cloth,  I  refused  to  present  it;  and  so  wrote  to  Seward, 
giving  him  the  reason.  The  upshot  of  the  matter  was 
that  I  lost  my  place,  and  was  recalled,  under  the  false 
statement  to  Lincoln  that  I  desired  to  return  home.  (See 
President    Lincoln's    statement,   p.    303.)     And,   as    I    have 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  365 

not  room  for  repetition,   I  refer  my  readers  to  the  follow- 
ing statement  of  the  Russian  Minister,   Catacazy : 

THE    RUSSIAN    MINISTER'S    LETTER   TO   CHIEF   JUSTICE   CHASE. 

Sir:  —  Article  three,  second  section  of  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States,  establishes  the  competence  of  the  federal  Supreme 
Court  "in  all  cases  affecting  Embassadors,  other  public  Ministers, 
and  Consuls." 

In  virtue  of  this  Constitutional  clause  I  would  have  the  right 
to  claim  from  the  federal  Supreme  Court  justice  and  reparation  for 
the  acts  against  my  honor  and  my  interests  committed  by  Mr. 
Hamilton  Fish  in  the  exercise  of  his  functions  of  federal  Secretary 
of  State  at  the  epoch  when  I  had  the  honor  of  being  Envoy  Ex- 
traordinary and  Minister  Plenipotentiary  of  His  Majesty  the  Empe- 
ror of  all  the  Russias  in  the  United  States. 

But  while  I  was  clothed  with  that  character  the  duties  of  my 
position  forbade  all  such  recourse  to  justice,  as  well  as  all  public 
refutation  of  the  arbitrary  and  outrageous  assertions  set  forth  by 
the  federal  Secretary  of  State  in  official  documents  given  the  great- 
est publicity. 

I  would  have  compromised  the  interests  which  had  been  con- 
fided to  me  in  thus  engaging  the  imperial  government  in  a  per- 
sonal incident,  which  could  not  and  ought  not  to  influence  in  any 
way  the  relations  between  the  two  countries,  which  are  happily 
sheltered  from  every  attack  of  intrigue  or  of  personal  ill-will. 

The  Emperor,  my  august  master,  having  deigned  to  very  gra- 
ciously relieve  me,  at  my  own  request,  from  my  diplomatic  func- 
tions, I  enter  again  into  the  possession  of  the  rights  inalienable  in 
every  man  to  claim  and  obtain  justice. 

I  will  use  this  right,  however,  only  within  very  restricted  limits. 

I  do  not  intend  to  begin  a  formal  suit  for  "malicious  slander" 
against  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish,  because  the  American  law  pronounces 
on  this  head  no  penalty  but  a  pecuniary  compensation  to  the  com- 
plainant, and  I  am  not  able  to  face  an  eventuality  of  that  nature. 
A  functionary  who  has  had  the  distinguished  honor  to  represent 
His  Majesty  the  Emperor  of  all  the  Russias,  does  not  accept  pecu- 
niary compensation.  He  is  able  to  claim  only  moral  reparation; 
and  that  is  what  I  am  about  to  secure  in  placing  under  your  equi- 
table auspices,  sir,  an  authentic  expose  of  the  facts  which  have  been 
so  profoundly  altered  by  the  Secretary  of  State,  H.  Fish,  in  official 
documents. 


366  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

The  federal  Supreme  Court  has  for  its  mission  to  watch  over 
the  maintenance  of  the  American  Constitution.  Among  the  prin- 
ciples serving  as  the  base  of  that  Constitution  there  is  not  one 
more  important  or  more  sacred  than  that  establishing  that  justice 
must  be  accessible  to  all  the  world,  without  distinction  of  origin, 
of  nationality,   or  of  position. 

Called,  by  the  esteem  and  confidence  of  your  fellow-citizens  to 
preside  over  that  court,  you  are,  sir,  the  supreme  magistrate  of 
the  Union,  and  the  most  authorized  interpreter  of  the  letter  and 
the  spirit  of  the  laws  which  rule  your  country.  Under  this  title 
you  will  be  very  willing,  I  hope,  to  take  into  consideration  the 
exceptional  conditions  in  which  was  placed  a  man  who,  on  one 
side,  was  powerless  to  engage  in  a  formal  procedure  without  com- 
promising interests  more  grave  than  those  of  a  personal  defense; 
and  who,  on  the  other,  finds  it  impossible  to  vindicate  his  out- 
raged honor  otherwise  than  in  placing  under  the  auspices  of  the 
most  respected  authority  in  the  United  States  the  demonstration 
of  the  inanity  of  the  charges  produced  against  him. 

I  will  strive  now  to  expose  the  acts  of  which  I  have  so  griev- 
ously to  complain,  while  avoiding  all  irritating  polemics,  and  ob- 
serving the  respect  due  to  the  eminent  functions  that  Mr.  H.  Fish 
formerly  filled. 

I  can  not  avoid,  nevertheless,  establishing,  right  at  the  outset, 
that,  in  a  note  addressed  to  Mr.  Curtin,  Minister  of  the  United 
States  at  St.  Petersburg,  under  date  of  the  16th  November,  1871, 
and  in  several  other  documents  submitted  to  Congress  the  6th 
December,  1871,  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish  has  willfully  sent  forth  erro- 
neous assertions,  with  the  evident  purpose  of  provoking  my  recall 
from  the  post  which  had  been  confided  to  me,  and  of  striking  a 
blow  at  my  character  and  personal  honor. 

I  am  accused  in  these  documents :  — 

First.  Of  having  abused  my  diplomatic  privileges  and  immu- 
nities in  denouncing,  with  violence  and  coarseness,  persons  inter- 
ested in  the  soi-disant  claim  of  the  American  citizen,  Perkins. 

Second.  Of  having  interfered  in  questions  which  did  not  con- 
cern me  to  Senators  and  members  of  Congress;  and  of  having 
bored  and  importuned  them  with  solicitations  fettering  the  free 
course  of  legislation. 

Third.  Of  having  attacked  the  President  of  the  United  States 
and  federal  functionaries  in  newspaper  articles  written  at  my  dicta- 
tion and  bearing  corrections  in  my  handwriting,  or  inspired  by  me; 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  367 

and  of  having  falsely  affirmed,  on  my  honor  as  a  gentleman,  as 
well  as  in  my  quality  of  Christian  and  representative  of  His  Majesty 
the  Emperor  of  all  the  Russias,  that  I  had  not  taken  any  part  in 
those  publications. 

Fourth.  Of  having  used  importunity  in  demanding  to  be  re- 
ceived by  the  President  at  his  summer-residence,  at  Long  Branch; 
and  of  having  given  to  the  Imperial  Cabinet  an  inexact  account 
of  my  interview  with  His  Excellency. 

Fifth.  Of  having  tried  to  hinder  the  success  of  the  negotia- 
tions between  the  Federal  Government  and  that  of  Her  Britannic 
Majesty;  and  of  having  shown  myself  hostile  to  the  Treaty  of 
Washington. 

Sixth.  Of  having  committed  divers  other  acts  which  are  not 
specified  is  the  dispatch  of  the  16th  of  November,  1871,  but  of 
which  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish  has  made  mention,  either  in  other  docu- 
ments,  or  in  verbal  explanations  with  myself. 

Such  are  in  brief  the  accusations  produced  against  me,  and  of 
which  I  am  now  about  to  show  the  inanity  in  submitting  them, 
one  by  one,  to  the  most  scrupulous  examination ;  and  in  produc- 
ing, in  support  of  my  assertions,  proofs  of  which  the  authenticity 
may  be  verified  by  any  one  whom  you  may  designate  for  that 
purpose,    Mr.    President  of  the  federal  Supreme  Court. 

FIRST    COUNT. 

The  promoters  of  the  enterprise  generally  known  under  the 
name  of  the  "Perkins'  Claim"  have  exposed  their  pretended 
rights  in  a  voluminous  compilation,  which  numbers  several  hun- 
dreds of  pages.     The  affair  may  be  reviewed  in  a  few  words: 

A  merchant  captain  by  the  name  of  Benjamin  Perkins  asso- 
ciated himself,  in  1855,  with  a  Polish  Jew  by  the  name  of  Raki- 
elvitch,  a  dismissed  agent  of  the  secret  police  of  New  York,  as 
well  as  with  a  Mr.  Kidder,  a  doctor  of  medicine  and  a  merchant 
in  gas-piping,  in  order  to  extort  money  from  my  predecessor  in 
the  United  States,  Mr.  Stoekl,  in  proposing  to  him  to  furnish 
powder  and  arms  for  the  Imperial  Government. 

Mr.  Stoekl  declined  these  offers ;  while,  as  to  the  powder  and 
the  arms,  he  sent  Mr.  Perkins  to  our  military  agent  in  the  United 
States,  Captain  Lilienfeldt. 

This  latter  gentleman  accepted  conditionally  the  proposition  of 
a  contract  for  35,000  carbines  —  that  is  to  say,  he  accepted  it, 
while   reserving   expressly  the    right   to    annul   this   preliminary  en- 


3 


68  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 


gagement.  Being  assured  of  the  insolvency  of  Mr.  Perkins,  and 
of  his  inability  to  fulfill  the  projected  engagement,  Captain  Lilien- 
feldt  availed  himself  of  this  privilege  of  cancelling  the  contract  by 
declaring  in  writing  to  Mr.  Perkins  that  their  preliminary  conver- 
sations must  be  considered  as  null  and  void. 

Not  one  grain  of  powder,  not  one  carbine,  was  ever  delivered 
to  the  Imperial  Government;  and  in  spite  of  a  judgment  without 
appeal  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  New  York  —  a  judgment  to  which 
Mr.  Perkins  adhered  while  receiving,  under  the  name  of  an  amica- 
ble compromise,  a  sum  of  $200  —  his  heirs  formulated  his  rights 
after  his  death  into  a  claim  amounting  to  $800,000. 

The  widow  Perkins  ceded  these  pretended  rights  in  considera- 
tion of  a  small  compensation  to  an  advocate  named  J.  B.  Stewart. 
In  order  to  assure  the  success  of  this  enterprise,  Mr.  J.  B.  Stewart 
placed  it  in  shares,  which  he  disposed  of  at  a  low  rate,  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  create  powerful  protectors  interested  in  realizing  the 
nominal  amount  of  their  value. 

From  1855  to  1869  the  Federal  Government  made,  on  three 
different  occasions,  advances,  more  or  less  earnest,  in  order  to  sup- 
port this  pretended  claim.  The  Imperial  Cabinet  responded  to  it, 
with  all  the  respect  due  to  the  demands  of  a  friendly  government, 
by  refusals  grounded  on  the  absence  of  all  proof  and  of  all  justice. 

Soon  after  the  accession  of  General  Grant  to  the  supreme  mag- 
istracy of  the  Union,  the  federal  Secretary  of  State  proposed  to 
the  Imperial  Cabinet  to  submit  the  question  to  an  arbitration. 

The  Emperor,  my  august  master,  deigned  to  name  me  at  this 
time  his  representative  to  the  United  States.  Before  furnishing  me 
with  my  instructions,  his  majesty  ordered  an  investigation  to  be  in- 
stituted in  order  to  thoroughly  sound  the  Perkins'  affair.  Of  this 
investigation  I  was  named  reporter.  The  Chancellor  of  the  Empire 
signified  to  me,  in  the  following  terms,  the  orders  of  his  majesty: 

"The  Emperor,"  said  he,  "wishes  that  you  should  proceed  in 
this  matter  with  the  most  scrupulous  impartiality.  If,  in  right,  or 
even  in  equity,  we  owe  any  thing,  whether  a  dollar  or  a  million 
of  dollars,  we  ought  to  pay  without  hesitating;  but  if  this  is  an 
attempt  at  extortion,  destitute  of  any  just  basis,  we  must  not  lend 
ourselves  to  it,  despite  our  desire  to  be  agreeable  to  the  federal 
government." 

It  was  in  this  disposition  that  the  Commission  of  Inquiry  set  to 
work.  I  must  add  that,  for  my  part,  I  brought  to  it  a  sincere  de- 
sire to  find  some  way  of  resolving  amicably  an  affair  which  I  foresaw 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  369 

would    bring   about  grave  difficulties  in  the  accomplishment  of  my 
mission. 

The  labors  of  the  investigation  ended  in  the  evident  demonstra- 
tion of  the  complete  inanity  of  this  claim.  My  instructions  pre- 
scribed to  me  in  consequence  to  explain  to  the  Cabinet  at  Wash- 
ington, in  categorical  though  friendly  terms,  the  reasons  which  made 
it  impossible  for  the  Imperial  Cabinet  to  satisfy  the  pretended  Per- 
kins' Claim,  or  to  submit  it,  in  the  absence  of  any  just  ground  for 
it,  to  an  arbitration. 

On  my  arrival  at  Washington,  Mr.  J.  B.  Stewart  and  his  partner, 
Mr.  L.  Tassistro,  demanded  an  interview  with  me,  alleging,  as  the 
ground  of  their  request,  "their  desire  to  produce  new  proof  in 
support  of  their  claim,"  and  complaining  of  having  never  been 
understood  by  my  predecessor.  I  did  not  believe  it  my  duty  to 
decline  this  interview  with  the  Perkins'  advocates.  Mr.  Tassistro 
was  the  first  to  present  himself,  producing  full  authority  from  Mr. 
Stewart,  as  follows: 

' '  I  take  the  liberty  to  inform  you  that  Mr.  Tassistro,  the  bearer 
of  this  letter,  is  now  my  associate  in  the  Perkins'  affair,  and  that  he 
is  authorized  to  bind  me  and  my  other  associates  by  whatever  he 
may  do,  propose,  or  accept." 

It  is  important  to  establish  the  close  and  undoubted  unity  of 
interest  existing  between  Mr.  Tassistro,  a  discharged  employe  of 
the  State  Department,  and  Mr.  Stewart ;  for  one  may  estimate  in 
consequence  the  value  of  the  testimony  which  the  said  Tassistro  has 
borne  in  an  affair  which  will  be  spoken  of  further  on. 

This  individual  began  by  proposing  to  me  to  enter  into  discus- 
sions for  a  compromise  as  to  the  amount  of  the  claim,  making  me 
at  the  same  time  understand  that  an  agreement  could  be  arrived  at 
in  consideration  of  a  few  thousand  dollars.  I  declined  peremptorily 
all  idea  of  compromise. 

Passing  thence  to  another  subject,  Mr.  Tassistro  proposed  to  me 
to  acquire,  at  a  low  price,  by  his  mediation  and  that  of  Mr.  Stewart, 
three  millions  of  obligations  of  the  Credit  Foncier  de  Pologne,  stolen 
by  a  burglary  in  1863,  upon  the  Bank  of  Varsovie,  recently  imported 
into  America,  and  which  had  been  thrown  upon  the  market  of  New 
York.      I  declined  this  offer  also,  no  less  peremptorily. 

A   few  days   after  Mr.   Stewart  presented  himself  at  my  house. 
Without  producing  any  new  proof,   he  tried   to  convert  mc  to  the 
idea  of  a  compromise  in  saying  that   "the  support  of  the  adminis- 
tration was  gained  to  their  cause;  that  Judge  Dent,  the  brother-in- 
Vol.   I. — 24 


370  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

law  of  the  President,  was  interested  in  it;  and  that,  if  I  made  too 
much  opposition,  they  would  find  means  to  break  my  neck." 

I  received,  with  the  same  indifference,  these  offers  of  compro- 
promise  and  these  menaces.  The  day  after,  Mr.  J.  B.  Stewart  sent 
me  a  so-called  affidavit  of  the  interview,  in  which  he  attributed  to 
me  proposals  that  I  had  not  made ;  and  by  which,  if  made,  I  would 
have  recognized  the  validity  of  the  Perkins'  Claim. 

Knowing  with  whom  I  had  business,  I  had  taken  precautions. 
A  person  placed  in  the  next  room  had  taken  a  note  of  the  conver- 
sation ;  and  Mr.  Stewart,  forced  to  submit  to  the  truth,  saw  fit  to 
withdraw  his  false  affidavit.  After  this  I  forbade  to  the  advocates 
of  the  widow  Perkins  access  to  my  house,  and  I  answered  none  of 
their  written  communications. 

Five  months  after  —  that  is  to  say  the  14th  of  March,  1870  —  I 
had  a  confidential  interview  with  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish,  of  which  I 
have  rendered  an  account  to  the  Chancellor  of  the  Empire,  Prince 
Gortchacow,  in  a  report  of  the  21st  of  March,  given  below  in  the 
appendix. 

It  appears  from  this  report: 

That  Mr.  Stewart  had  sent  back  to  the  President,  by  the  medi- 
ation of  Mr.  Dent,  brother-in-law  of  General  Grant,  dispatches  which 
had  been  attributed  to  me. 

That,  in  the  faith  of  a  false  telegraphic  rumor,  spread  at  this 
time  in  the  United  States,  announcing  the  retirement  of  Prince 
Gortchacow  and  his  replacement  by  General  Ignatief,  these  pre- 
tended dispatches,  of  an  inadmissible  tenor,  and  which  had  been 
exchanged  between  the  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs  and  myself, 
were  placed  under  the  eyes  of  the  President,  with  the  end  of  preju- 
dicing him  against  the  Minister  of  Russia;  and,  in  short, 

That  the  Secretary  of  State,  while  recognizing  the  apocryphal 
character  of  these  dispatches,  was  not  willing  to  begin  suit  against 
the  authors  of  these  wrongs,  "in  order  to  avoid  scandal,"  and  under 
the  pretext  of  the  legal  impossibility  of  being  severe  upon  them. 

At  last  Mr.  Fish  told  me,  some  days  after,  that  he  had  had 
Messrs.  Stewart  and  Tassistro  before  him,  in  order  to  interrogate 
them  on  the  manner  in  which  the  dispatches  had  been  procured, 
and  that  they  had  affirmed  that  they  held  them  from  the  First  Sec- 
retary of  the  Imperial  Russian  Legation. 

I  protested  energetically  against  an  assertion  so  calumnious.  I 
said  to  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish,  that  it  seemed  to  me  impossible  that 
people,   even  of  that  character,    should  dare  to  attribute  to  an  em- 


OF    CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  37 1 

ploye,  whose  honor  had  always  been  undisputed,  such  an  act.  I 
demanded  of  him,  indeed,  if  he  had  not  made  a  mistake,  and  if  it 
was  not  some  other  individual  bearing  the  same  name  that  had 
been  designated. 

"No,  no,"  replied  Mr.  Fish,  "it  is  very  certainly  of  the  First 
Secretary  of  your  Legation  that  they  have  spoken ;  for  they  have  said 
that  it  has  been  in  order  to  succeed  you  that  he  has  betrayed  you." 

Informed  immediately  by  myself  of  the  fact  of  this  odious  im- 
putation, the  First  Secretary  of  the  Imperial  Legation  presented 
himself  with  two  lawyers  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Tassistro,  and  ob- 
tained from  him  a  formal  retraction.  A  similar  step  was  taken, 
with  the  same  result,  with  Mr.  J.   R.  Stewart. 

I  transmitted  the  affidavits  of  these  interviews  to  the  Secretary 
of  State,  while  praying  him  in  a  letter  (a  copy  of  which  is  given  in 
the  appendix,)  to  severely  punish  the  culprits.  Under  different  pre- 
texts Mr.  Fish  declined  all  pursuit  and  all  inquiry. 

Encouraged  by  impunity,  the  advocates  of  the  widow  Perkins 
and  their  protectors  had  these  false  dispatches  printed,  after  having 
eliminated  from  them  the  most  improbable  passages,  and  distributed 
them  among  the  members  of  Congress,  in  order  to  provoke  a  senti- 
ment in  favor  of  the  enterprise. 

I  saw  myself  then  under  the  necessity  to  ask,  by  an  official  note 
of  the  2 1st  of  May  (copy  given  in  the  appendix),  a  judicial  pursuit 
of  the  guilty  parties.  This  note  remained  without  reply;  and,  on 
my  officially  pressing  the  matter  on  the  nth  of  June,  1871,  inspired 
by  the  publication  of  the  false  dispatches  in  the  journals,  Mr.  Fish 
explained  his  silence  in  a  note  of  the  16th  of  June,  1871,  by  "one 
of  those  negligences- which  occur  sometimes  in  the  administration 
of  a  department  which  conducts  a  vast  correspondence." 

I  will  limit  myself  to  mention,  in  addition,  the  anonymous  letter 
containing  threats  of  death,  as  well  as  the  attacks  of  every  descrip- 
tion in  the  press,  of  which  the  advocates  of  the  widow  Perkins  and 
their  protectors  have  pursued  me,  up  till  what  they  have  stated  as 
their  avowed  end  —  my  departure  from  the  United  States. 

If  I  have  felt  it  my  duty  to  enter  into  these  fatiguing  and  re- 
pugnant details,  it  is  because  it  is  important  to  establish  in  an 
unanswerable  manner : 

First.  That  the  pretended  Perkins'  Claim  is  the  real  and  deter- 
mining cause  of  the  exceptional  animosity  of  which  I  have  been  the 
object. 

Second.     That   Mr.    Fish  was   not  ignorant  of  the   misdeeds  of 


372  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

the  promoters  of  this  fraudulent  enterprise ;  and  that,  in  conse- 
quence, he  had  no  right  to  affirm,  as  he  has  done  in  an  official 
document,  on  the  faith  of  the  interested  evidence  of  Mr.  Tassistro, 
' '  that  the  advocates  of  the  widow  Perkins  fell  innocently  into  a 
trap"  that  I  had  planned  for  them. 

Third.  That  in  characterizing  Messrs.  Stewart  and  Tassistro  in 
my  official  communication  as  "audacious  forgers"  and  "men  capa- 
ble of  any  thing,"  I  have  not  abused  my  diplomatic  immunities, 
but  have  only  exercised  an  incontestable  right  to  acquit  myself  of 
an  imperious  duty  —  that  of  defending  the  interests  which  had  been 
confided  to  me. 

SECOND    COUNT.* 
•%.  ■%.  ;fs  :£  %  %.  %. 

Having  learned  that  I  had  been  charged  to  buy  in  New  York  a 
piece  of  ground  for  the  building  of  an  orthodox  church,  Mr.  H. 
Fish,  who  possessed  some  real-estate  property,  wished  me  to  bid, 
which  will  be  seen  by  the  letter  given  below,  for  two  lots  of  ground, 
which  he  desired  to  sell  for  forty  odd  thousand  dollars ;  and  he  car- 
ried this  obliging  readiness  to  the  point  of  suggesting,  in  the  post- 
script of  that  letter,  ' '  to  proceed  with  the  transaction  without  the 
intermeddling  of  agents,  in  order  to  save  ourselves  several  hundreds 
of  dollars."  It  was  impossible  for  me  to  profit  by  this  proposition, 
the  land  in  question  having  been  appraised  by  competent  persons  at 
half  the  price  demanded,  and  another  piece  of  ground,  well  situated, 
having  been  offered  for  $20,000 

THIRD    COUNT. 

In  accusing  me  of  having  attacked,  or  caused  to  be  attacked,  in 
the  press,  some  of  the  federal  officials,  Mr.  H.  Fish  tersely  says: 
' '  That  on  one  occasion  Mr.  Catacazy  went  so  far  as  to  write  to  the 
press  under  his  own  signature."  This  assertion  has  been  brought 
out  in  such  a  manner  as  to  make  it  appear  that  I  published  some 
article  in  a  newspaper  under  my  signature.      But,  in  reality,  it  is  this: 

That  the  National  Republican,  of  Washington,  which  is  said  to 
have  some  attaches  connected  with  the  administration,  having  pub- 
lished, February  26,  1870  (it  should  be  remarked  this  was  a  few 
days  before  the  presentation  of  the  false  dispatches),  an  article  upon 
the  Perkins'  Claim,  full  of  violent  attacks  against  the  representative 
of  the   Emperor  at  Washington,  General  Clay,   late  Minister  of  the 

-The  subject  matter  of  the  "Second  Count,"  except  the  paragraph  here  given, 
is  omitted,  as  not   proper  to  be  introduced   in   this  work.  —  C,   1SS5. 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  373 

United  States  at  St.  Petersburg,  spontaneously  addressed  me  the 
letter  (see  affix  letter  E),  from  which  I  reproduce  the  following 
passage : 

"I  am  persuaded  that  if  the  President  and  the  people  of  the 
United  States  could  know  the  facts  (concerning  the  Perkins'  Claim,) 
as  they  exist,  they  would  unanimously  agree  to  forget  that  affair, 
and  save  the  nation  from  dishonor,   injustice,   and  ingratitude." 

I  replied  to  General  Clay  by  the  letter  herewith  (affix  letter  F), 
where  I  said,  among  other  things: 

' '  Whatever  may  be  the  sum  claimed,  Russia  would  be  willing, 
I  assure  you,  to  pay  it.  As  regards  American  citizens,  especially, 
she  is  disposed  to  act  with  liberality  more  than  otherwise.  But  this 
is  not  a  question  of  money,  it  is  a  question  of  principle.  We  may 
not  be  able  to  admit  that  they  impose  on  us,  and  that  they  continu- 
ally harass  us  with  claims  which  are  only  based  upon  assertions  of 
interested  persons.  Between  nations,  as  between  individuals,  friend- 
ship ought  to  be  the  basis  for  respect  and  a  wise  discretion." 

I  remember  chiefly  that  it  was  on  my  own  account  that  this  cor- 
respondence has  been  made  public;  and  I  think  I  have  but  done 
my  duty  in  profiting  by  an  occasion  which  was  offered  by  an  old 
Minister  of  the  United  States,  in  order  to  correct  public  opinion 
upon  the  real  points  of  this  affair,  of  which  the  official  organs  have 
published  the  most  inexact  and  the  most  outrageous  statements, 
and  in  order  to  maintain  the  good  relations  between  the  two  coun- 
tries. 

I  made  of  these  unmerited  suspicions  an  absolute 
and  explicit  denial  in  a  private  letter  dated  December  1,  1870, 
which  was  produced  among  the  documents  submitted  to  Congress, 
but  with  the  omission  of  the  most  significant  passages.  Twenty- 
four  hours  afterward  the  Secretary  of  State  expressed  to  me,  in  the 
annexed  letter,  the  "entire  satisfaction  of  the  President,"  and  his 
own  satisfaction  with  my  assurances.  This  letter  of  the  Secretary 
of  State  was  inserted  in  the  collection  of  documents  submitted  to 
Congress.  In  general,  the  collection  was  compiled  in  a  manner 
calculated  to  conceal  the  truth  completely.  The  most  important 
papers  have  been  omitted;  others  have  been  garbled. 

On  May  25,  1871,  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish  thought  proper  to  recall 
the  subject,  in  spite  of  this  exchange  of  explanations  and  his  written 
assurances  that  they  had  been  entirely  satisfactory  to  the  President. 
He  told  me  again  that  he  believed  me  to  be  the  author  of  the 
article  in  the  World  of  November  29,   1870.       I  could  only  oppose 


374  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

a  still  more  energetic  denial  to  this '  arbitrary  assertion,  and  warn 
the  Secretary  of  State  against  the  intrigues  of  persons  interested  in 
raising  difficulties  between  us.  Having  received,  a  few  days  before, 
an  anonymous  letter,  in  which  I  was  notified,  with  threats  and  in- 
sults, that  a  numerous  association  had  been  formed  to  accomplish, 
at  any  price,  my  expulsion  from  America,  I  showed  it  to  the  Sec- 
retary of  State,  telling  him  at  the  same  time  that  he  was  enabled 
to  convince  himself  of  the  means  to  which  my  calumniators  had 
taken  recourse.  Mr.  Fish  read  this  letter,  and  returned  it  to  me, 
saying:  "Indeed,  this  is  not  polite;  but  do  you  know  what  I  am 
persistently  told?  It  is  that  you  address  anonymous  letters  to  your- 
self, in  order  to  discredit,  in  my  opinion,  the  Perkins'  counsel." 

It  was  impossible  to  continue  a  conversation  which  my  interlo- 
cutor led  on  such  a  ground.  I  was  necessarily  reduced  to  ask  my- 
self whether  I  was  in  the  presence  of  one  afflicted  with  mental  aber- 
ration, or  bent  on  provocation.  In  this  doubt  I  thought  it  prudent 
to  retire,  after  having  told  Mr.  Fish  that  my  dignity  did  not  permit 
me  to  reply  to  such  imputations. 

Four  days  later,  on  May  30,  1 871,  all  the  official  press  organs 
were  led  to  publish  very  violent  articles  against  me  —  articles  which 
had  been  communicated  by  the  State  Department  to  the  Associated 
Press  in  Washington. 

On  three  different  occasions  did  I  address  myself  to  the  Secretary 
of  State  in  order  to  induce  him  to  adopt  a  more  equitable  conduct. 
Far  from  complying,  Mr.  Fish  persisted  in  his  system  of  arbitrary 
and  insulting  accusations.  A  journalist  named  Piatt  having  sent  to 
a  Cincinnati  paper  a  letter  which  was  very  hostile  to  the  President, 
the  Secretary  of  State  had  nothing  more  pressing  to  do  than  to 
attribute  it  to  me.  He  charged  me,  moreover,  with  being  hostile 
to  the  negotiations  opened  between  the  Federal  Government  and 
the  government  of  Her  Britannic  Majesty.  After  having  exhausted 
all  the  means  of  persuasion  and  conciliation,  I  addressed  to  Mr.  Fish 
the  annexed  letter,  dated  June  13,   1871: 

"If  I  had  only  consulted,"  I  said  in  this  letter,  "my  own  legiti- 
mate susceptibilities,  I  should  give  up  the  hope  of  inducing  you  to 
act  with  more  justice  and  benevolence  with  regard  to  me.  But  the 
private  individual  must,  under  certain  circumstances,  sacrifice  his 
self-respect  to  the  official.  I  am  a  Minister  to  the  Emperor,  sir; 
and,  as  such,  I  must  exhaust  all  the  means  of  conciliation  before 
taking  resolutions  which  might  compromise  the  friendly  relations  ex- 
isting between  the  two  countries." 


OF   CASSIUS.MARCELLUS   CLAY.  375 

This  appeal  to  the  loyalty  of  the  Secretary  of  State  remained 
without  effect.  Since  then,  until  the  time  of  my  departure,  the 
journals,  inspired  by  the  administration,  attacked  me  most  violently 
in  articles  of  which  it  was  impossible  to  mistake  the  official  origin ; 
for  several  of  them  coincided  literally  with  the  official  communica- 
tions of  the  Secretary  of  State. 

On  June  16,  1871,  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish  addressed  to  me  an  offi- 
cial note  on  the  Perkins'  affair,  in  which  he  attempted  to  free  the 
counsel  for  that  case  of  all  responsibility  for  the  fabrication  of  the 
forged  dispatches  which  had  been  attributed  to  me.  He  concluded 
thus: 

"No  one  knows  better  than  you,  sir,  the  license  practiced  by  a 
part  of  the  press  of  this  country  in  speaking  of  individuals  occupy- 
ing official  positions,  and  the  means  adopted  by  those  who  institute 
sensational  articles  of  a  personal  nature,  which  appear  only  too 
often,  as  you  are  well  aware,  also.  Many  of  them  contain  insult- 
ing attacks  against  the  President  of  the  United  States;  and  they 
have  been  the  subject  of  my  conversations  with  you." 

Accusations  so  ill-disguised  could  not  remain  without  an  answer. 
In  the  annexed  letter  I  replied,  asking  the  Secretary  of  State  "per- 
mission, not  to  place  myself  upon  the  ground  of  inuendoes,  but 
on  that  of  frank  cordiality,  from  which  I  am  enjoined  by  my  august 
master  not  to  depart  in  my  relations  with  the  Federal  Government." 

In  spite  of  my  formal  assurances  and  the  preceding  explana- 
tions, Mr.  Fish  wanted,  at  any  price,  to  attribute  to  me  the  pater- 
nity of  the  article  of  the  World  of  November  29,  1870.  It  appears, 
from  the  collection  of  American  documents  submitted  to  Congress, 
that  the  Secretary  of  State  addressed  a  letter,  on  the  25  th  of  Oc- 
tober, 1 87 1,  to  a  certain  Mr.  G.  Adams,  in  which  he  charges  him, 
"in  the  name  of  the  duties  of  honor  and  patriotism,  to  depose  in 
writing  when  and  under  what  circumstances  M.  Catacazy  has  par- 
ticipated in  the  publication  of  the  article  in  the  Wor/d."  Mr.  G. 
Adams  yielded  with  great  zeal  to  this  fervent  exhortation.  Two 
days  afterward  he  deposed  in  writing,  by  a  letter  addressed  to  the 
Secretary  of  State,  "that  the  article  in  question  had  been  written 
under  the  dictation  of  M.  Catacazy;  had  been  kept  by  him  for  a 
few  days  and  returned,  with  notes  and  corrections  in  the  hand- 
writing of  the  Minister  of  Russia." 

I  had  never  had  relations  of  any  kind,  neither  direct  nor  indi- 
rect, with  Mr.    G.    Adams. 

A  few  days  before  my  departure  from  Washington,  I  sent  him, 


376  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND   SPEECHES 

through  an  honorable  lawyer,  Mr.  Chandler,  the  annexed  letter,  by 
which  I  invited  him  to  be  confronted  with  me  in  the  presence  of 
.witnesses,  in  order  to  establish  when  and  where  he  had  seen  me, 
or  had  had  relations  with  me.  I  notified  him  at  the  same  time, 
that  I  would  deposit  with  my  banker  the  sum  of  #3,000,  to  be 
distributed  among  the  poor  in  Washington,  if  any  article  was  pro- 
duced which  bore  notes  and  corrections  in  my  handwriting.  Mr. 
G.  Adams  declined  this  interview  by  informing  me,  through  Mr. 
Chandler,  "That  he  was  too  sure  of  the  facts  alleged  by  him  to 
need  verifying  them;  that  he  had  not  been  at  my  house  himself, 
and  that,  in  truth,  he  had  never  seen  me;  but  that  one  of  his 
friends,  at  present  in  South  America,  had  served  as  intermediary, 
and  that,  moreover,  the  manuscript  corrected  by  my  own  hand 
had  been  lost  or  destroyed." 

The  second  witness,  who,  as  it  appears  from  the  collection  of 
American  documents,  had  deposed,  in  compliance  with  the  re- 
peated and  pressing  requests  of  the  Secretary  of  State,  is  a  Mr. 
Turk,  who  is  related  to  the  family  of  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish,  and 
who  has  been  employed  for  more  than  two  years  as  counsel  at 
the  Imperial  Legation.  This  Mr.  Turk  has  deposed  that  I  had 
avowed  to  him  my  participation  in  the  article  of  a  Cincinnati  jour- 
nal  containing  attacks  against   the  President  of  the  United   States. 

By  a  lucky  chance  I  have  preserved  the  minutes  of  a  letter  to 
Mr.  Hamilton  Fish,  written  entirely  in  the  handwriting  of  this  same 
Mr.  F.  Turk,  under  my  dictation,  and  in  which  I  affirmed  precisely 
the  reverse  of  what  he  had  deposed  he  had  been  told  by  me. 

The  following  fact  proves  the  little  confidence  these  depositions 
inspire  in  Mr.  Fish  himself,  drawn  out  though  they  have  been  by 
his  exhortations  to  the  sentiments  of  "honor  and  patriotism"  of 
Messrs.  Adams  and  Turk. 

At  the  moment  when  *I  was  about  to  leave  Washington,  the 
Secretary  of  State  let  me  know  that  if  I  did  not  take  the  formal 
engagement  not  to  prosecute  Messrs.  Adams  and  Turk,  and  not 
to  justify  myself  before  the  Imperial  Cabinet,  he  would  suspend 
my  diplomatic  immunities,  and  authorize  the  Perkins'  lawyers  to 
arrest  me. 

In  reply  to  the  observation  made  to  him  that  this  would  be  a 
violation  of  international  law,  the  Secretary  of  State  said:  "In- 
ternational law  is  very  elastic;  and,  besides,  these  men  have  testi- 
fied at  my  request.  I  must  protect  them  against  the  prosecution 
of  M.  de  Catacazy. " 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  ^JJ 

Having  no  attention  to'  prosecute  individuals  who  have  only 
acted  as  tools  to  those  who  have  employed  them,  I  declared  that 
I  did  not  want  to  bring  an  action  for  false  testimony  against  Messrs. 
Adams  and  Turk ;  but  I  reserved  for  myself  the  right  of  exposing 
to  the  Imperial  Cabinet,  and  to  the  American  people,  the  pro- 
ceedings of  Mr.    Hamilton  Fish. 

The  Secretary  of  State  also  charged  me,  on  several  occasions, 
with  having  inspired  articles  of  the  journalist  named  Piatt,  as  well 
as  articles  published  by  the  editor  of  the  Herald,  the  Sim,  and  the 
Tribune  of  New  York.  I  herewith  annex  the  letters  of  Messrs. 
Piatt,  Bennett,  Greeley,  and  Dana,  in  which  these  gentlemen  tes- 
tify to  the  contrary.  It  is  evident  from  these  letters  that  I  have 
never  had  any  relations  with  Messrs.  Piatt  and  Dana,  and  that  in 
the  intercourse  which  I  have  had  the  pleasure  of  holding  with  Mr. 
Horace  Greeley  and  Mr.  James  Gordon  Bennett,  I  have  never 
departed  from  the  reserve  and  discretion  which  are  befitting  a 
diplomatic  functionary.  I  would,  moreover,  have  replied  to  the 
arbitrary  imputations  of  Mr.  Hamilton  Fish  by  the  positive  proof 
that  he  himself,  and  his  subordinate,  Mr.  Bancroft  Davis,  had 
taken  part  in  the  writing  and  the  circulation  of  the  outrageous 
articles  which  have  been  published  against  me  during  six  months, 
and  to  which  I  have  only  replied  by  the  silence  of  contempt.  I 
have  in  my  possession  eighty-three  articles  of  this  kind,  bearing 
evident  traces  of  their  official  origin ;  but  their  reproduction  would 
be  both  too  voluminous  and  too  repulsive.  I  should,  moreover, 
fail  in  the  respect  due  to  you,  Mr.  President  of  the  Supreme 
Court,  were  I  to  inflict  upon  you  the  reading  of  these  contempti- 
ble animadversions. 

FOURTH  COUNT. 

On  July  31,  1 87 1,  Mr.  Fish  thought  proper  to  address  a  note 
to  me  concerning  the  Perkins'  affair.  The  tenor  of  this  communi- 
cation was  absolutely  unacceptable,  for  it  contained  a  denial  which 
was  both  discourteous  and  unmerited.  I  could  not,  without  failing 
in  my  duty,  preserve  such  a  document  in  the  archives  of  the  Im- 
perial Legation.  As  this  note  was  subsequently  withdrawn,  I  have 
no  right  to  reproduce  it;  but  I  am  compelled  to  mention  it  to 
justify  the  step  which  I  took  with  regard  to  the  President  of  the 
United  States.  It  became  more  and  more  evident  that,  in  the 
face  of  such  persistent  provocations,  the  interests  of  the  govern- 
ment of  the  Emperor,  as  well  as  my  personal  dignity,  permitted 
me  no  longer   to   remain    in    the  United   States.      I    had    begun    in 


378  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

the  diplomatic  career  as  Second  Secretary  of  Legation  at  Wash- 
ington. President  Grant  himself  stated,  when  he  received  my  cre- 
dentials, that  "I  had  left  there  pleasant  recollections."  On  my 
part,  I  had  carried  with  me  sentiments  of  the  most  profound  re- 
spect for  the  American  people,  as  well  as  the  conviction  that  there 
is  a  similarity  between  the  interests  of  Russia  and  America.  Dur- 
ing the  whole  course  of  my  diplomatic  career  I  have  not  missed  a 
single  opportunity  to  assert  this  conviction. 

When  the  great  majority  of  European  governments  doubted 
the  issue  of  the  War  of  the  Union ;  when  men  of  high  political 
position  called  it  "The  Disunited  States  of  America,"  I  wrote  in 
a  document,  in  i860,  that  the  Union  will  come  out  triumphant. 
Such  were  the  sentiments  and  opinions  which  recommended  me 
to  the  choice  of  the  Emperor,  my  august  master,  as  Minister  to 
the  United  States.  I  could  not,  unless  I  failed  to  do  my  duty 
and  contradicted  myself,  pursue  any  other  object  than  the  con- 
solidation of  the  ties  of  friendship  established  between  the  two 
countries,  which  —  I  repeat  it  —  can  not  be  disturbed  by  the  in- 
trigues and  the  malevolence  of  individuals. 

A  fraudulent  enterprise,  and  the  intrigues  which  I  have  de- 
scribed, were  the  rocks  on  which  these  good  intentions  were 
wrecked.  Already,  in  the  month  of  July,  1871,  I  requested  of 
the  Imperial  Cabinet  to  be  relieved  of  a  post  where  I  could  be 
no  longer  of  any  utility,  because  of  the  personal  hostility  of  the 
Secretary  of  State.  Before  I  could  be  relieved  of  my  post  there 
remained,  however,  an  important  duty  for  me  to  perform.  His 
Imperial  Highness,  the  Grand  Duke  Alexis,  was  about  to  arrive 
in  the  United  States.  I  was  firmly  convinced  that  the  American 
people  would  give  the  son  of  the  Emperor  a  reception,  the  cor- 
diality of  which  would  largely  compensate  for  the  personal  rude- 
ness of  Mr.    Fish. 

The  Secretary  of  State  foresaw  it  also,  and  he  did  all  in  his 
power  to  prevent  these  demonstrations  of  gratitude  and  national 
sympathy.  While  his  organs  attempted  to  obstruct  the  prepara- 
tions for  the  reception  made  by  the  citizens  of  New  York  and 
Boston,  Mr.  Fish  informed  me  by  an  official  note  that  if  I  was 
not  recalled  immediately  he  would  send  me  my  passports.  An 
act  so  unjustifiable  might  have  exercised  a  bad  influence  upon  the 
relations  of  the  two  countries.  It  might  have  prevented  the  visit 
of  his  Imperial  Highness.  I  was  consequently  obliged  to  do  all 
in  my  power  to  prevent  such  an  emergency.      For  the  very  reason 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  379 

that  Mr.  Fish  doubled  his  provocations,  I  was  obliged  to  thwart 
his  efforts  by  an  increase  of  moderation,  which  would  have  been 
excessive  and  undignified  if  the  interests  of  Russia  had  not  been 
in  question.  I  imposed  silence  on  my  susceptibilities,  and  post- 
poned the  vindication  of  my  personal  dignity  to  another  period. 
I  asked  an  interview  of  the  Secretary  of  St~te  by  the  annexed 
letter,  which  has  not  been  placed  among  the  collection  of  Amer- 
ican documents. 

The  interview  I  requested  took  place  on  August  16th,  1871. 
I  began  by  telling  Mr.  Fish  that,  considering  the  point  at  which 
matters  had  arrived,  I  had  thought  it  best  to  request  the  Em- 
peror to  relieve  me  of  my  post. 

"Your  purpose,"  I  said,  "is  attained.  You  will  soon  be  re- 
lieved of  my  presence.  I  can  assure  you  I  am  as  much  in  haste 
to  leave  the  United  States  as  you  are  to  see  me  depart.  But 
you  may  well  understand  that  on  the  eve  of  the  arrival  of  the 
Grand  Duke  Alexis  the  Minister  of  the  Emperor  can  not  leave 
his  post.  It  seems  to  me,  in  the  meantime,  you  might  observe 
the  outward  respect  due  between  gentlemen.  The  Indians  them- 
selves bury  their  tomahawks  at  the  arrival  of  a  national  guest. 
Since  you  will  not  have  peace,  let  us  have  at  least  an  armistice. 
Do  not  address  to  me  any  more  notes  which  I  can  not  receive, 
and  cease  the  daily  insults  in  your  official  organs." 

The  Secretary  of  State  replied  to  this  loyal  and  pressing  appeal 
by  excessive  rudeness.  He  declared  to  me  in  plain  language  that 
if  I  was  not  relieved  immediately  he  would  send  me  my  pass- 
ports. 

"You  can  act  as  you  please,"  I  replied;  "but  I  repudiate  all 
responsibility  for  the  consequences.  Be  assured  that  the  American 
people,  who  are  your  sovereign,  will  disapprove  of  this  gratuitous 
provocation  when  they  will  know  the  truth.  For  my  part,  I  do 
not  want  to  have  any  thing  to  reproach  to  myself  before  the  Em- 
peror, my  master.  I  shall  go  as  far  as  possible  —  farther  even 
than  I,  perhaps,  ought  to  go  —  in  the  path  of  reconciliation  by 
making  you  the  following  proposition :  You  ground  your  action 
with  regard  to  me  on  the  belief  that  I  had  attacked  the  President 
in  the  press,  and  sought  to  obstruct  the  negotiations  with  Eng- 
land. I  have  positively  repelled  these  accusations.  You  persist 
in  sustaining  them  without  a  single  proof.  I  offer  to  submit  the 
differences  to  a  jury  of  honor,  composed  of  impartial  persons,  en- 
joying the   confidence   of  the    President,  and    chosen   among  your 


380  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND    SPEECHES 

own  fellow-citizens.  If  the  jury  sustains  the  charges  brought  against 
me,  I  engage  myself  in  advance  to  present  my  resignation  by  tele- 
graph. If,  however,  the  jury  finds  that  you  are  in  error,  I  ask  no 
other  reparation  than  the  loyal  acknowledgment  of  this  error,  and 
the  withdrawal  of  your  last  note." 

Mr.  Fish  drily  repelled  this  proposition,  saying  that  "no  jury 
could  prove  that  he  was  in  the  wrong."  I  can  not  produce  a 
written  proof  of  this  interview;  but  Senator  Cameron,  to  whom  I 
addressed  myself  a  few  days  afterward,  in  his  capacity  of  President 
of  the  Committee  on  Foreign  Relations,  will  testify  that  I  had 
spoken  to  him  of  this  proposition,  and  the  refusal  of  Mr.  Fish. 
Mr.  Cameron  expressed  to  me  in  a  letter  his  regret  at  the  failure 
of  the  steps  I  had  taken.  In  the  face  of  the  obstinate  malevo- 
lence of  Mr.  Fish  there  remained  to  me  no  other  resource  than 
to  appeal  to  the  President.  I  proceeded  to  Long  Branch,  where 
His  Excellency  resided.  I  addressed  myself  to  General  Porter, 
the  Secretary  of  the  President.  I  described  to  him  the  situation, 
saying :  "I  will  not  make  use  of  the  right  I  have  to  ask  an  audi- 
ence of  the  President;  but,  if  His  Excellency  could  be  informed 
of  my  arrival,  if  he  expressed  the  desire  to  see  me,  I  should  be 
happy  to  present  myself  before  him." 

Two  hours  later  General  Porter  came  to  my  hotel  to  inform  me 
that  the  President  would  be  happy  to  see  me  at  his  cottage  between 
four  and  five  o'clock.  "Only,"  said  the  General,  "make  no  formal 
complaint  against  the  Secretary  of  State ;  for  it  would  place  the 
President  in  an  embarrassing  position." 

Diplomatic  reserve  and  the  respect  due  to  the  Chief  Magistrate, 
to  whom  I  have  had  the  honor  of  being  accredited,  do  not  permit 
me  to  report  the  interview  with  His  Excellency. 

Mr.  Fish  has  thought  proper  to  affirm  in  his  dispatch  of  No- 
vember 16,  1 87 1,  that  the  President  had  begun  by  refusing  the 
interview;  that  His  Excellency  had  peremptorily  interrupted  me 
when  I  attempted  to  speak  of  my  relations  with  the  Secretary  of 
State,  and  that  the  General  had  treated  me  with  coolness,  without 
even  replying  to  my  salutation. 

I  can  not  silently  acquiesce  in  assertions  calculated  to  give  the 
impression  that  the  President  of  the  United  States  had  failed  in  the 
respect  due  to  the  representative  of  the  Emperor.  I  affirm  that 
General  Grant  was  perfectly  courteous  and  attentive  to  all  I  said  to 
him.  The  result  proves  that  the  aim  I  pursued  has  been  attained. 
In  spite  of  all  the   efforts  of  Mr.    Fish,   the  journey  of  the  Grand 


OF   CASSIUS   MARCELLUS   CLAY.  38  I 

Duke  has  been  accomplished  in  the  most  satisfactory  manner.  His 
Imperial  Highness,  whom  I  have  had  the  honor  of  accompanying, 
has  received  from  the  American  people,  if  not  from  all  the  federal 
functionaries,  a  reception  which  has  signally  demonstrated  the  natu- 
ral sympathies  existing  between  the  two  nations,  and  thwarted  all 
intrigues.  The  incident  has  been  kept  within  the  bounds  of  a  per- 
sonal conflict,  and  the  direct  or  indirect  damages  which  Mr.  Fish 
supposes  to  have  caused  me  are  amply  compensated  by  the  con- 
sciousness that  I  have  well  served  my  sovereign  and  my  country, 
without  allowing  myself  to  be  swayed  by  considerations  of  wounded 
pride  or  personal  interest. 

FIFTH    COUNT. 

I  have  in  my  hands  a  letter  from  one  of  the  most  honorable 
citizens  of  the  American  Union,  which  attests  that,  toward  the  end 
of  1870,  the  lawyer,  J.  B.  Stewart,  told  him  that,  in  consequence 
of  the  opposition  offered  by  Mr.  Catacazy  to  the  Perkins'  Claim, 
that  minister  would  be  obliged  to  leave  America ;  that  by  one  means 
or  another  he  would  be  forced  to  go  away,  and  that  a  number  of 
interests  had  coalesced  to  arrive  at  this  result  at  any  cost. 

The  signer  of  this  letter,  fearing  the  vengeance  of  these  coal- 
esced influences,  requested  me  not  to  make  use  of  his  name  except 
to  the  Imperial  Cabinet.  In  consequence,  I  am  unable  to  make  it 
public. 

It  is  not  less  true  that  a  coterie,  ready  to  resort  to  any  means, 
was  at  work  in  October,  1870,  to  create  difficulties  for  me  with  the 
Federal  Government.  It  only  succeeded  imperfectly,  by  the  com- 
bination of  false  dispatches.  It  renewed  its  attempts,  in  taking 
advantage  of  the  negotiations  opened  at  this  epoch  between  the 
Cabinet  of  Washington  and  that  of  St.  James,  to  create  an  impres- 
sion that  I  sought  to  prevent  a  friendly  settlement  of  the  differ- 
ences between  the  United  States  and  Great  Britain.  Narrow  and 
suspicious  minds,  who  are  unable  to  comprehend  the  breadth  and 
nobleness  of  the  political  principles  of  the  Emperor,  my  august 
master,  persist  in  believing  that  the  Imperial  Cabinet  speculates  on 
international  dissensions,  and  even  that  he  sometimes  strives  to  en- 
courage and  to  embitter  them.  These  aberrations  have  especial 
reference  to  Anglo-American  differences. 

Mr.  H.  Fish  having  judged  it  proper  to  raise  this  question,  it  is 
of  importance  to  clear  it  up.  I  believe  that  I  am  not  wanting  in 
fitting  reserve  in  revealing,  by  the  narration  of  the  following  facts, 


382  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,   AND  SPEECHES 

the  magnanimity  and  elevation  of  the  political  thought  of  which  the 
representatives  of  the  Emperor  Alexander  can  only  be  the  obedi- 
ent interpreters : 

The  day  when  I  set  out  from  St.  Petersburg  to  go  to  Wash- 
ington, Prince  Gortchacow  told  me  what  follows  on  the  subject 
of  the  relations  between  England  and  the  United  States: 

' '  Do  not  lose  sight  of  the  fact  that  we  are  not  sowers  of  dis- 
cord. You  will  abstain  carefully  from  encouraging  the  misunder- 
standings which  exist  between  England  and  the  United  States. 
The  Emperor  does  not  desire  a  contemptible  or  hateful  course  of 
political  action.      What  he  wants  is  peace  and  general  repose." 

By  a  remarkable  coincidence  I  met,  in  leaving  the  cabinet  of 
the  Chancellor  of  the  Empire,  M.  Rumboldt,  directing  at  that 
time  the  English  Embassy  at  St.  Petersburg.  As  he  did  me  the 
honor  to  stop  me  to  wish  me  a  safe  journey,  I  repeated  to  him 
literally  what  Prince  Gortchacow  had  just  told  me.  I  can,  if  neces- 
sary,  refer  to  the  testimony  of  this  diplomatist. 

Less  than  a  year  afterward,  the  President  of  the  United  States 
having  addressed  to  Congress  a  hostile  and  almost  menacing  letter 
in  relation  to  England,  I  had,  with  an  American  statesman,  whose 
name  I  shall  withhold  from  motives  of  discretion,  a  conversation, 
faithfully  reproduced  in  a  report  addressed  to  Prince  Gortchacow 
the  2d  of  December,   1869. 

I  think  I  am  able  to  give  a  copy  of  it  in  what  follows: 

"Well,"  said    Mr.    X to   me,    "what  do  you  think  of  the 

message  concerning  England?  We  have  not  stroked  superb  Albion 
with  any  gentle  hand.  I  hope  they  will  be  glad  at  St.  Petersburg, 
where  they  ought  to  hate  England  as  much  as  we  do." 

In  effect  I  answered:  You  have  not  acted  over  gently.  Since 
you  do  me  the  honor  to  ask  me  my  opinion,  I  shall  tell  it  to 
you  without  any  beating  about  the  bush.  I  think  that,  in  en- 
larging too  much  the  range  of  the  Alabama  affair,  you  weaken 
your  title  to  the  compensations  which  are  in  reality  due  to  you. 
The  most  impartial  persons,  and  those  the  best  disposed  toward 
you,  will  be  obliged  to  recognize  that  it  is  a  quarrel  that  you 
seek,  and  not  a  legitimate  compensation  that  you  demand.  You 
wish  to  place  to  the  charge  of  England  the  expense  of  more  than 
a  year  of  civil  war ;  and,  what  is  still  more,  the  possible  benefits 
you  might  have  been  able  to  realize.  This,  permit  me  to  say  it, 
is  what  we  call  in  France  making  up  an  apothecary's  bill. 

"Yes,"  replied  Mr.   X ,    "the  amount  of  the  account  that 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  383 

we  are  preparing  is  a  little  high;  but  it  is  good  policy  to  ask  too 
much  in  order  to  get  enough." 

I  am  not  of  that  opinion,  I  replied.  It  appears  to  me  that  a 
great  nation  like  America  would  refrain  from  having  recourse  to 
these  mercantile  finesses.  It  ought  to  count  justly,  affirm  what  is 
due  to  it,  and  not  lower  its  demand.  It  should  have  the  same 
measure  for  all  —  for  proud  Albion  or  modest  Denmark.  This  is 
what  we  invariably  practice  at  St.  Petersburg ;  and  we  have  grounds 
to  be  satisfied  with  its  success.  Also,  I  tell  you,  because  of  the 
active  sympathy  with  which  you  inspire  me,  that  in  Russia  very 
probably  they  will  abstain  from  applauding  that  part  of  the  Presi- 
dential Message.  We  have  our  preference;  but  we  hate  none. 
Above  all,  we  are  not  sowers  of  discord;  and  we  believe  that  a 
conflict  between  you   and   England  would   be  a  universal  calamity. 

The  Chancellor  of  the  Empire  was  good  enough  to  write  to 
me  in  an  official  dispatch,  in  answer  to  this  report,  that  the  Em- 
peror deigned  to  honor  with  his  entire  approval  the  language  that 
I  had  held. 

I  have  not  deviated  one  instant  from  the  way  that  has  been 
traced  for  me.  While  abstaining  carefully  from  putting  forward 
in  public  my  opinion  on  the  practical  value  of  the  combination 
designated  under  the  name  of  the  Treaty  of  Washington,  and 
of  which  it  was  easy  to  discover  the  defects  in  knowing  the  ar- 
riere  pensee  held  in  reserve  by  Mr.  Fish,  I  availed  myself  of 
every  opportunity  to  express  my  sympathies  in  favor  of  a  pacific 
solution. 

The  day  after  the  signing  of  the  treaty  I  went  to  offer  my  feli- 
citations to  Earl  de  Grey  and  to  Mr.  Fish.  I  had  the  honor  of 
receiving  at  my  table  the  men  of  the  High  Commission ;  and  of 
toasting  the  happy  issue  of  the  negotiations.  The  American  citizen, 
Cyrus  W.  Field,  having  invited  me  to  take  part  in  a  banquet  which 
he  offered  to  Earl  de  Grey  and  his  colleagues,  I  answered  by  the 
letter  marked  "O"  in  the  appendix,  which  was  read  at  that  ban- 
quet, and  in  which  I  offer  for  a  toast  the  words  of  Holy  Writ: 
"Blessed  are  the  peacemakers." 

In  fine,  I  acknowledged  the  receipt  from  the  official  messenger 
of  two  copies  of  the  Washington  Treaty  in  the  following  note  of 
July  14,  1 87 1,  which  Mr.  Fish  has  not  thought  well  to  insert  in 
his  collection  of  documents: 

"Sir: — The  State  Department  has  been  good  enough  to  send 
me  two  printed  copies  of  the  treaty  concluded  between  the  United 


# 
384  MEMOIRS,    WRITINGS,    AND   SPEECHES 

States  and  Great  Britain  May  8,  187 1.  In  thanking  you  for  this 
interesting  communication,  I  believe  it  my  duty  to  express  to  you 
the  cordial  sympathy  with  which  every  thing  that  can  contribute 
to  the  general  repose,  as  well  as  to  the  prosperity  and  glory,  of 
the  United  States  will  be  received  in  Russia." 

It  is  in  the  face  of  facts  so  positive,  so  undeniable,  that  he 
could  not  be  ignorant  of  them,  that  Mr.  Fish,  without  producing 
any  proof,  thought  himself  justified  in  affirming,  in  an  official  doc- 
ument, that  "Mr.  Catacazy  has  made,  and  makes  daily,  efforts  to 
embarrass  and  defeat  the  Treaty  of  Washington," — an  accusation 
the  more  strange  and  contradictory  that  it  emanates  from  the  re- 
tractive author  of  the  indirect  damages. 

SIXTH    COUNT. 

Among  the  miscellaneous  accusations  of  Mr.  Fish,  there  is  but 
one  that  he  has  specified,  in  saying  that  ' '  Mr.  Catacazy  has  made 
in  his  conversations  offensive  remarks  against  the  President  and 
some  of  the  federal  functionaries." 

In  a  conversation,  on  the  25th  of  May,  1871,  the  Secretary  of 
State  was  still  more  explicit.  He  told  me  that  it  had  come  to  his 
ears  that,  at  a  dinner  given  in  my  house,  I  had  made  remarks  on 
the  President  and  on  himself  that  the  respect  due  to  the  chief  of 
a  great  State  does  not  permit  me  to  reproduce  here. 

I  answered  Mr.  Fish  that  nothing  authorized  him  to  attribute 
to  me  so  complete  a  forgetfulness  of  every  convenance  and  every 
duty;  that  I  had  striven  on  all  occasions  to  evidence  my  profound 
respect  for  the  President,  as  well  as  my  high  consideration  for  the 
Secretary  of  State ;  and,  finally,  that  I  deeply  regretted  being  acces- 
sible to  idle  reports  which  no  doubt  came  from  the  same  source  as 
the  false  dispatches  of  the  previous  year. 

"No,"  said  the  Secretary  of  State,  "it  is  not  alone  Perkins, 
the  lawyers,  who  say  so;  but  one  of  your  colleagues  affirms  it." 

"In  that  case  will  you  be  good  enough  to  name  the  colleague, 
and  bring  him  face  to  face  with  me,  that  I  may  be  able  to  con- 
found him?" 

Mr.   Fish  refused,   saying  that   he  could   not  betray  confidence. 

"Then,"  said  I,  "you  can  ask  this  gentleman  if  he  has  the 
courage  to  repeat  before  me  what  he  has  told  you ;  and,  if  he 
refuses,  you  ought  in  all  justice  to  consider  him  a  calumniator, 
and  withdraw  the  painful  imputation  that  you  have  thought  it  your 
duty  to  cast  on  me." 


OF    CASSIUS    MARCELLUS    CLAY.  385 

The  Secretary  of  State  has  never  seen  fit  to  confront  me  with 
his  authority,   nor  to  retract  his  arbitrary  imputations. 

In  his  dispatch  of  the  16th  of  November  he  accuses  me  of 
different  social  delinquencies.  Notwithstanding  all  my  desire  to 
discover  what  could  have  caused  an  accusation  of  this  nature,  I 
can  remember  only  one  circumstance  relative  to  my  social  relations 
incriminated  by  the  federal  Secretary  of  State  in  one  of  his  conver- 
sations with  me. 

Some  time  after  the  discussion  which  took  place  in  the  Senate 
in  relation  to  the  project  of  annexing  the  island  of  St.  Domingo, 
a  Washington  journal,  which  served  as  a  mouthpiece  for  the  law- 
yers of  the  Perkins'  Claim,  published  an  article  saying  that  I  had 
encouraged  Mr.  Sumner  to  oppose  the  views  of  the  President. 
Notwithstanding  the  absurdity  of  this  imputation,  I  felt  called 
upon  to  point  out  this  article  to  the  Secretary  of  State  by  a  confi- 
dential letter,  in  which  I